209 NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory Student Development Program: Expanding on Traditional Student Internship Opportunities

Monday, 11 January 2016
Ann Thorne, OAR, Boulder, CO

Since its formation in 2005, the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado has actively supported the NOAA Office of Education's Hollings and Educational Partnership (EPP) Scholarship Programs by providing a multitude of scientific, engineering, mathematics, computer science, policy and public outreach summer internship opportunities for participants. Recognizing a need to both expand the number of participants in internship programs and attract a broader spectrum of students, the NOAA/ESRL Student Program Office (SPO) was created. The SPO continues to provide opportunities for Hollings and EPP Scholars who opt to come to the NOAA Boulder Laboratories. The SPO now administers or oversees more than 10 internship programs.

Expansion has occurred in the area of attracting non-traditional students and educators. Through a partnership with the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) we currently host students who come from alternative public high schools. Presented with many obstacles to their academic development the students in this program are given additional attention in the areas of science and mathematics so they can improve academically and pursue the goals they are capable of achieving. In addition, the SPO works with K-12 STEM educators through the STAR program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to bring teachers into the Laboratory for a research experience they can then take back into the classroom, making them more effective STEM educators. We have seen great success in both areas. Our BVSD students proceed to Universities or Community Colleges and our educators have reported increased productivity in the classroom.

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