University of Nebraska
We are doing a longitudinal study to determine the impact of GK12 participation on graduate students and how elements of the program can be transferred to STEM graduate programs in general. As students from Phase I graduate, they report that their experience has been an asset in obtaining faculty and other employment. Those pursuing academic employment cite an increased familiarity with education techniques such as interactive engagement, and an ability to communicate with people outside their own field. Students who have not graduated say that evaluations of their teaching have improved relative to evaluations prior to GK-12 participation. Fellows also indicate that their peers serve as a support group that reinforces their beliefs that scientists should be involved in education. Fellows declare that participation in the GK-12 reminds them of why they got interested in science and makes them feel that they are making a positive contribution to society. This feeling helps balance the long-term frustration and uncertainty inherent in research. This study will continue over the next three years, with all graduate students who have participated in the program being polled yearly.