The University of Iowa College of Education Belin-Blank Center
The postdoctoral scholar in the Advancing Informal STEM Learning Research in Service to Practice Project funded by the National Science Foundation will contribute to the research projects that are part of Implementing the STEM Excellence and Leadership Program to Understand the Role of Local Agency in Broadening High-Potential, Rural Students’ STEM Participation and Achievement. This 4-year project has been extended due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and we are seeking a postdoctoral scholar to support efforts to meet the two objectives of the project: 1) understand how informal STEM learning shapes the academic and psychosocial outcomes of rural, high-potential students, and 2) identify key characteristics of successful informal STEM learning environments for rural, high-potential students and their teachers.
The project team uses a mixed methods approach, integrating comparative case study and mixed effects longitudinal methods, to study the STEM Excellence program. Data sources include teacher interviews, classroom observations, and student assessments of academic aptitude and psychosocial outcomes. The analysis and evaluation of the program are grounded in understanding the local efforts of school districts to build curriculum responsive to the demands of their high-potential student body. This project aims provide significant insights in how best to design, implement, and support informal out-of-school learning environments to broaden participation in the highest levels of STEM education and careers for under-resourced rural students.
The postdoctoral scholar will contribute to the team’s research and dissemination activities related to the project by assisting the PIs and methodologist with data entry, coding and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data, and preparing documents for presentations and publications.
About the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development
The Belin-Blank Center was founded in 1988 and quickly developed into an internationally-respected powerhouse providing innovative programming for gifted and talented students in addition to our groundbreaking work with teachers. As we grew, the Center added counseling services and programming for twice-exceptional children—those who are both gifted and have a diagnosed disorder that impacts their learning or social-emotional development. Located in the Blank Honors Center , the Belin-Blank Center is an integral part of the University of Iowa’s College of Education.