A Case Study of Undergraduate and Graduate Student Research in STEM Education

Lauren B. Birney, Brian R. Evans, Joyce Kong, Vibhakumari Solanki, Elmer-Rico Mojica, Gaurav Kondapuram, Dimitrios Kaoutzanis

Abstract


Student research in STEM education is an important learning component for both undergraduate and graduate students. It is not sufficient for students to learn passively in lecture-based classrooms without engaging and immersing themselves in the educational process through real-world research learning. Experiential learning for STEM students can involve conducting research, alongside and through the guidance of their professors, early in a student’s undergraduate or graduate program. The authors consider such experiences to be the hallmark of a high-quality STEM education and something every student, undergraduate and graduate, should have during the course of their programs. The purpose of this case study is to document the faculty authors’ experiences in student-faculty research and provide guidance and recommendations for best practices based upon the authors’ experience, data, and literature findings. Moreover, the study presents the experience of the faculty authors’ international student researchers in STEM with focus on two student researchers, one undergraduate and one graduate, who are international STEM. The students served as co-authors on this project. Findings from this case study indicate that students were highly engaged in the research process and found these skills valuable preparation for further study and career. Moreover, the students expressed enthusiasm and engagement for the research process.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jct.v10n1p29

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Journal of Curriculum and Teaching

ISSN 1927-2677 (Print) ISSN 1927-2685 (Online)

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