Why scientists should be partnering with programs like Upward Bound for outreach goals and how to do it effectively
Out-of-school science experiences are an especially impactful way to learn for students who face barriers to science in the typical classroom environment. Authentic science experiences provide real world contexts which can make science learning more accessible. Programs with goals to support underserved student access to STEM degrees and careers are tasked with designing effective out-of-school science experiences. Instructional Design (ID) methods play an important role in guiding the design of learning experiences which meet both the needs of students and the desired program objectives. Using an instructional design model, this paper outlines the development of a watershed science curriculum that incorporates authentic science experiences to encourage students’ connection to science and their intention to pursue STEM degrees/careers in the future. Included in the development of the program is the application of the ID model to each step of the process: characterizing the needs of learners, determining program objectives, identifying strategies to support learning, and assessment of learning. A model of learning was also used to guide the curriculum development.