Archived Projects

Below you will find examples of previous research that the STEM center has conducted. For more information regarding archived research, please contact the STEM Center at

Digital East St. Louis: An Urban Place-Based Learning Model to Promote Information Technology and Computing Career Interests of Minority Youth

In this NSF-funded project we are developing and testing a model for urban place-based learning with the goal of motivating and helping to prepare minority middle-grade students to pursue STEM education and career pathways. As part of the project, we are pursuing five research questions:

  • Does participation in the program produce an increase in students’ abilities to express understandings and perceptions of community from various perspectives?
  • Does participation in the program produce an increase in student STEM self-efficacy and produce an increase in student competence using specialized technology tools?
  • Does participation in the program increase student awareness of the diversity of IT and computing careers?
  • Does participation in the program increase students’ experimentation with digital humanities programs?
  • Does participation in the program motivate students to make decisions supporting successful entry into STEM education pathways (e.g., to participate in STEM courses or informal learning)?

You can read more about this program and research findings here.

Collaborators: SIUE IRIS Center, SIUE Dept. of English

EarthCaching Motivations

The EarthCaching Motivations was conducting in 2013-2014 by Sharon Locke, Georgia Bracey, and Rosey Morr. The aim of this research was to investigate who participates in EarthCaching activities, why they participate, and what they think they learn from participating. They found that the strongest motivator for EarthCaching was to learn more about the Earth. This was followed by motivations to learn more about geologic topics and a desire to be outdoors.

A full summary of this research project can be seen here.