Students, Teachers, And Resources in the Sciences
University of South Florida
A key goal of the STARS program is to move schools away from a ‘fact-based’ science education, which is prevalent in the Florida education system, to one that explores the fundamental aspects of mathematics, engineering, and scientific principles underlying the science facts. Graduate STARS Fellows play a critical role in facilitating this paradigm shift. Fellows utilize their valuable research experience and scientific outlook to develop innovative lesson modules and hands-on activities for the K-5 classrooms of our eleven partner schools. In the past year, the Fellows developed advanced lesson modules related to nanotechnology, bio-sensors, and space science, which have been successfully implemented in several classrooms. LaNetra Clayton, a former STARS Fellow who recently graduated with a Ph.D. in Chemistry, remarks that the program had given her a unique opportunity to creatively synergize education and science and deliver them in a manner suitable for K-5 students. Dr. Clayton is currently working as a Polymer Research Chemist at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, FL. Another Ph.D graduate, Rajesh Ganesan, who worked as the project manager for STARS, is currently an assistant professor in Industrial Engineering at George Mason University. STARS Fellows have also contributed immensely to their respective disciplines through conference presentations, poster sessions, peer-reviewed journal publications, and conference publications.