INSPIRE: Investigating the Development of STEM-Positive Identities of Refugee Teens in a Physics Out-of-School Time Experience
INSPIRE was funded in 2020 by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to Investigate the Development of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-Positive Identities of Refugee Teens in a Physics Out-of-School Time Experience.
This program aims to address the underrepresentation of refugees, who are often racial and ethnic minorities, non-native English speakers, and economically disadvantaged, in STEM disciplines through three major sets of activities:
- Participation in a scientific research project on cosmic rays & computer programming
- Engagement in an autoethnographic project culminating in digital stories that reflect individual students’ relationships experiences in STEM.
- Family and community science events designed by the youth for their families and science teachers to attend.
INSPIRE brings together a coalition of scientists and education researchers from University of Utah, Utah State University, Utah Department of Workforce Services Refugee Services Office (RSO), as well as the National Institute for Subatomic Physics (Nikhef) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. It builds on a solid foundation of two existing programs, REFUGES at the University of Utah and HiSPARC in the Netherlands
Learn more about our team here: https://csme.utah.edu/refuges/inspire/people/
INSPIRE participants are students from REFUGES afterschool program. They participate in the INSPIRE activities two days per week, and one Saturday per semester during the afterschool hours.
Learn more about the REFUGES afterschool program here: https://csme.utah.edu/refuges/afterschool/
The INSPIRE team carries out research and evaluation to answer the following research question and sub-question:
- Do students author convergent or divergent disciplinary identities across the contexts, relationships, and modes of interaction afforded by INSPIRE over the course of the study?
- Under what conditions do students author specific disciplinary identities (e.g., physics and computing) versus more general science or STEM identities?