Jessica Hathaway 1

Rearch Experience for Undergraduates in Ocean, Marine, and Polar Science

Using Common Core State Standards of Seventh Grade Mathematics in the Application of NXT LEGO® Robotics for CReSIS Middle School Students

Mentor: Dr. Darnell Johnson, ECSU

In 2010 Common Core Standards included critical content for all students in American education for forty-five states. Previously, every state had its own set of academic standards and students in each state were learning at different levels. In the new global economy, all students must be prepared to compete on a global basis. Students are expected to develop a deeper mastery of content and demonstrate what they know through writing and other projects. The North Carolina Department of Instruction's current curriculum and instruction are more student-centered with greater focus on skills, abilities, and a shift towards more performance assessments. This research was designed to focus on mathematical processes of the Common Core Standard in mathematics lesson plans for seventh grade students. A group of seventh grade students from two middle schools of Elizabeth City Public Schools in northeastern North Carolina were selected for this research at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) for the Center of Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS). Pre and post test data were collected through student assessments and teaching observations to evaluate student growth in content knowledge, understanding and application. The REU Mathematics Teacher Team used mathematics strategies to teach various scientific, mathematical, and design concepts, through designing, by programming NXT LEGO® Robotics for the seventh grade level. The students received hands on experience for robotics construction and programming with application of mathematics, motion, and problem solving in a collaborative group setting.

Watershed Watch
How Campus Development Affect Forest Growth

Mentor: Dr. Annette Schloss, UNH

Canopy cover is the percent of a fixed area covered by layers of branches and foliage at the top of a forest's trees. It is an indicator to how healthy the trees are in an area.  We hypothesize that using canopy cover would be effective to compare forested areas on campus in undeveloped areas (such as the Outdoor Classroom) and areas surrounded by roads and parking lots. We also wanted to test different methods of measuring canopy cover. Trees are important in developed and urban areas as sources of shade, and other factors. Based on earlier research we knew that trees needed room to grow and could be deprived of oxygen and water due to competition from other trees.  Also we understand that the tree’s roots need a source above the ground to collect water.

Elizabeth City State University Undergraduate Research Experience
The Impact of 2006-2012 CReSIS Summer Research Programs that Influence Student's Choice of a STEM Related Major in College

Mentor: Dr. Darnell Johnson, ECSU

Researchers, policymakers, business, and industry have indicated that the United States will experience a future shortage of professionals in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Several strategies have been suggested to address this impending shortage, one of which includes increasing the representation of females and minorities in the STEM fields. In order to increase the representation of underrepresented students in the STEM fields, it is important to understand the motivational factors that impact underrepresented students’ interest in STEM academics and extracurricular programs. Research indicates that greater confidence leads to greater interest and vice versa (Denissen et al., 2007). In this paper, the mathematics research team examined the role of practical research experience during the summer for talented minority secondary students studying in STEM fields. An undergraduate research mathematics team focused on the link between summer research and the choice of an undergraduate discipline. A Chi Square Statistical Test was used to examine Likert Scale results on the attitude of students participating in the 2006-2012 Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) Summer Research Programs for secondary students. This research was conducted at Elizabeth City State University located in northeastern North Carolina about the factors that impact underrepresented students’ choices of STEM related majors in college. Results can be used to inform and guide educators, administrators, and policy makers in developing programs and policy that support and encourage the STEM development of underrepresented students.