Science outreach programs with a community-based participatory approach—such as e-matching—are improving science curricula for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, according to a new report.
The report presents a case study that demonstrates how the National Lab Network (NLN)—a website that connects science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professionals with primary and secondary school teachers—has provided students at a New York high school a head start in science.
Through the NLN website, the New York high school teachers found and contacted STEM experts who have enhanced their students’ science curriculum. Similar success stories have also led to collaborations that give students hands-on science projects, presentations, courses, equipment, and mentoring. Programs have ranged from one-day interactive presentations to year-long integrated courses.
Because of this success, the NLN plans to expand its global initiative. “There are many students who are crying for help to receive science exposure, and may not know the opportunities available to them in the future,” said Rumala.
1. Rumala, B.B., J. Hidary, L. Ewool, C. Emdin, and T. Scovell. 2011. Tailoring Science Outreach through E-Matching Using a Community-Based Participatory Approach. PLoS Biol. 9:e1001026.