Arizona State University
A former GK-12 fellow has re-joined the project to organize an outreach program that uses graduate students as mentors to secondary school students. Currently, 10 graduate students from the School of Life Sciences mentor about fifty 7th and 8th grade students. (http://lifesciences.asu.edu/gpse/GPSE%20Overview.pdf) The graduate students help the youngsters to conceptualize, plan, and conduct research projects. Using an inquiry-based approach, graduate mentors guide students through the projects with the goal of presenting their work to parents, teachers and peers. The graduate mentors work in schools where nearly 90% of students qualify for the free meal program, 80% are ethnic minorities, and 60% are non-native English speakers. The GK-12 project provides a fellowship to the graduate student who directs this program. Another unique accomplishment of our graduate fellows was the planning, organization, and implementation of a day-long symposium, “Partnerships Between STEM Research and the K-12 Classroom,” at the AAAS-SWARM annual meeting in April 2006. Fellows invited universities with active GK-12 projects and other synergistic activities to participate in the symposium. The graduate students selected the papers to be presented, developed the agenda, and facilitated the symposium.