Education & Outreach
One of the main goals of the Texsas State PREM Center is to create a "Pipeline to Success in STEM Education" (attached figure), designed to provide opportunities to students at all levels (especially geared toward the population of underrepresented and underserved students). Through a network of interacting programs, this Pipeline connects Texas State University-San Marcos and Triangle MRSEC faculty, postdoctoral researchers, graduate and undergraduate students, secondary school teachers and students in high need areas, and primary school students. A key feature of this Pipeline is its emphasis on establishing a strong and sustainable structure for Shared Mentorship. The learning process is amplified when gained knowledge and experience are transmitted to others. The process of sharing knowledge with others builds the teacher's confidence and reinforces key concepts, especially when that information must be presented to a less prepared audience. In the model of shared mentorship, all participants are assigned appropriate mentorship roles, for the mutual benefit of the mentor and the mentee (attached figure). The Pipeline and the Shared Mentorship model will increase the likelihood that young participants will eventually pursue a career in one of the STEM fields by providing environments which will:
1) provide mentorship and role models to developing scientists,
2) develop research, study, leadership, and mentorship skills,
3) improve high school education through the introduction of project-based learning methods to allow students to take an active role in their education, and
4) improve participation in science among elementary, middle, and high school students.