Morehead State University

Poster Title

How Informal STEM Learning Shapes Student Professional Skills

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

2nd Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Institution 22-23

Morehead State University

KY House District #

4

KY Senate District #

4

Department

Research in Special Projects

Abstract

The Hazel Green Academy special project is focused around restoring and repurposing a once STEM-based academy. One of the strategic goals of the leadership team is to transform one of the buildings to conduct community and educational outreach. As a STEM academy, the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics offers its students many educational opportunities beyond the classroom. The revitalization of Hazel Green Academy will serve the community socially, academically, and holistically. Informal STEM learning experiences can be defined as “lifelong learning in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) that takes place across a multitude of designed settings and experiences outside of the formal classroom” (CAISC, 2017). Students in traditional classroom settings will get exposure to STEM topics during their K-12 education, but according to research, there are additional benefits to STEM informal learning experiences (Denson et al., 2015). Informal learning environments can provide context and purpose to formal learning, students opportunity and access, and extend STEM content learning and student engagement (Roberts et al., 2018). Informal STEM experiences can extend and deepen STEM content learning while providing opportunity and access to content, settings, and materials where students otherwise would not have access (Roberts et al., 2018). Hazel Green Academy Special Project allows students to grow outside the classroom to give them real world experience. The special project offers students the opportunity to engage in their STEM education as well as serve the community.

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How Informal STEM Learning Shapes Student Professional Skills

The Hazel Green Academy special project is focused around restoring and repurposing a once STEM-based academy. One of the strategic goals of the leadership team is to transform one of the buildings to conduct community and educational outreach. As a STEM academy, the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics offers its students many educational opportunities beyond the classroom. The revitalization of Hazel Green Academy will serve the community socially, academically, and holistically. Informal STEM learning experiences can be defined as “lifelong learning in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) that takes place across a multitude of designed settings and experiences outside of the formal classroom” (CAISC, 2017). Students in traditional classroom settings will get exposure to STEM topics during their K-12 education, but according to research, there are additional benefits to STEM informal learning experiences (Denson et al., 2015). Informal learning environments can provide context and purpose to formal learning, students opportunity and access, and extend STEM content learning and student engagement (Roberts et al., 2018). Informal STEM experiences can extend and deepen STEM content learning while providing opportunity and access to content, settings, and materials where students otherwise would not have access (Roberts et al., 2018). Hazel Green Academy Special Project allows students to grow outside the classroom to give them real world experience. The special project offers students the opportunity to engage in their STEM education as well as serve the community.