The Center for Civic Innovation recently hosted faculty and community partners from Youngstown State University and University of Louisville as part of a 2-day workshop on Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE). Participants learned about CCI’s Community-Engaged Educational Ecosystem Model (C-EEEM) in preparation for replication this summer. The grant was by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Principal Investigator and CCI Director Jay Brockman.
University of Louisville and Youngstown State University launched internship projects using the replication of C-EEEM on June 13th, 2022 under a NSF IUSE Phase 2 grant led by Principal Investigator and CCI Associate Director for Research Danielle Wood. In the first year of funding, YSU successfully engaged 7 interns in 2 community projects and University of Louisville engaged 11 students in 3 community projects. Over the next several years, these programs will grow to optimal sizes based on resources within their own communities.
CCI’s Dr. Wood, along with her research team, is conducting research on the effects of the C-EEEM experience on factors associated with STEM motivation and persistence, career readiness, and place attachment. Additionally, the research team is observing differences at the replication sites in critical factors from the initial development of the C-EEEM and how replication sites develop differently given initial conditions.
“In engineering education, we know a lot about how experiential and project based-learning matters for STEM engagement, but in its pilot work CCI has seen that authentic community-engagement in rust belt cities builds a sense of purpose in all students, especially underrepresented groups in STEM. Moreover, it builds a sense of connection to places that have been losing population for decades,” said Wood.