The National Science Foundation ARRA grant “A Track 1 Proposal for Creating a Pipeline for Diversity in the Geosciences: A Sustainability-based Approach”
Worcester State University (WSU) is working with the local school district in the City of Worcester, MA, to increase diversity in undergraduate geoscience programs through the creation of an integrated pipeline for engaging students at a variety of levels. Key to this project is a strategic partnership with the Worcester Vocational Technical High School Environmental Technologies program. The project will establish the pipeline connections through a series of interlinked curricular programs, internships, and facilitation agreements between WSU and surrounding schools. The first initiative is to develop a curriculum enrichment program for middle schools teachers, the only level in public education where the geosciences are an explicit part of the curriculum in Massachusetts. The next phase in our project is to establish an internship project that will pair minority youth in Worcester with sustainability based organizations and enterprises. We have partnered with Worcester Mass Audubon, Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA, the Regional Environmental Council and youth groups, such as the Toxic Soil Busters, to develop this program. The culmination of the high school internship program will be to encourage successful interns to take advantage of an articulation agreement between WSU and area high schools that will allow them to take university level courses in the geosciences. Gaining exposure to the university environment and earning university credit will give these students a significant experiential and economic advantage should they chose to pursue an advanced degree. The aim is to create a pathway from the public schools to the WSU Earth Science program.
For more information please contact Worcester State University Public Relations Office at 508-929-8018.