Student STEM Enrichment Program

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NCSU – CRECER

AWARD YEAR: 2019

NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY

DIRECTOR: CLAIRE L. GORDY - CLGORDY@NCSU.EDU
TEACHING ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
RALEIGH, NC

PROJECT TITLE: CULTIVATING RESEARCH EXPERIENCES WITH COMMUNITY ENGAGED ROOTS

CRECER (Cultivating Research Experiences with Community Engaged Roots) seeks to create a sustainable environment for Hispanic/Latinx students to become the next generation of fruitful contributors to the STEM workforce, the economy, and the collective success of our state and nation. Through their participation in the program, Hispanic/ Latinx high school students from Lee and Chatham Counties will engage in an authentic research experience that spans an intensive residential STEM camp at NC State, ongoing independent research projects, science and leadership learning through communitybased CRECER 4-H Clubs, annual research presentations at local science fairs, and a community-based CRECER Festejo de Ciencia y Familia. Although the research project will evolve over the three-year span of the program, the broad research question will remain focused on understanding how microbial communities contribute to agriculture. Specifically, students will use next-generation DNA sequencing to identify the microbes living in soil from farms in their county and design and carry out experiments to test how these microbes affect plant growth and crop yield.

CRECER’s work will be intensive, yet very scalable and cost effective since we leverage the community roots of existing organizations such as schools and 4-H to deliver programming locally. CRECER will provide opportunities,that are too often only available to affluent and high achieving students and districts, for Latinx students to increase their STEM knowledge and skills. This program will address the greatest obstacle to reducing the shortage of STEM professionals, a simple lack of interest. CRECER will use strategies known to stimulate motivation and persistence in academic challenges, namely mentoring, real-world research, and hands-on learning that provide relevant and personal connections to science learning and STEM careers. Program participants will learn from STEM practitioners and professional educators the skills and perspectives required for a STEM career and how STEM can change their own community and the world. CRECER will work with the participants’ families to provide them with information and resources to help students navigate the process of pursuing higher education, including how to apply and how to navigate issues such paying for college and preparing for that first semester.

Award Timeline

Jan 15, 2022

Application Opens

Apr 21, 2022

Application Deadline

Sep 15, 2022

Notice of Award

Dec 01, 2022

Award Start Date

Aug 30, 2026

Award End Date

Program Contacts

Alfred Mays

Senior Program Officer

919-991-5103

Tiffanie Taylor

Senior Program Associate

919-991-5116