We will pursue two specific aims:
Specific Aim #1: Improve understanding of how informal STEM experiences with network science in health research can increase STEM identities, STEM possible selves, and STEM career aspirations among youth from groups historically underrepresented in STEM disciplines at the center of health science research.
Specific Aim #2: Create emerging media resources (e.g., augmented reality) to stimulate broad interest in and understanding of the role of network science in biomedical and public health research. We will leverage the framework of NE STEM 4U, a successful college student run and faculty guided near-peer-led out-of-school program for underserved youth, to form a new cross-campus collaboration that adds network science activities to the existing set of STEM topics.
By increasing opportunities for underrepresented minority middle school youth in high poverty schools to engage with Network Science through lessons, activities, and Augmented Reality/ Virtual Reality media, this project will pave new paths towards health careers of the future. In doing so, we will also advance the public’s understanding of NIH-funded research and the field of evidence-guided STEM learning by informing our understanding of how to effectively encourage youth to pursue careers in human health.