Catalyst Projects provide support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities to work towards establishing research capacity of faculty to strengthen science, technology, engineering and mathematics undergraduate education and research. It is expected that the award will further the faculty member’s research capability, improve research and teaching at the institution, and involve undergraduate students in research experiences. This project will investigate the impacts of learning about the basic science of sleep on interest and motivation among STEM students on interest and motivation. Further, this project will enhance teaching and learning at Fort Valley State University and increase professional development and marketable quantitative skills of underrepresented STEM students to prepare them for workforce entry or graduate school.
The goal of this project is to understand the impact of an integrated research and education plan that focuses on the introduction of basic sleep science into the learning curriculum as an intervention to impact student STEM interest, motivation and performance. This project builds on Social Cognitive Career Theory and preliminary data that suggest that learning about the basic science of sleep, sleep deprivation and its health effects promote academic interest, motivation and performance in STEM fields. To meet this goal, researchers will investigate the impact of science based sleep education modules, consisting of a series of sleep science based research components and the incorporation of technology tools with education on sleep-related health outcomes. At the conclusion of this project we expect to have shown that introduction of the science based sleep education modules is an effective method for enhancing learning of and engagement in complex STEM science concepts by students, and established the effectiveness of the professional development of educators in basic sleep science as an intervention tool for student success. This project addresses a significant need to identify the most effective interventions for enhancing interest, motivation and performance in STEM fields and to disseminate this knowledge directly to educators and students. Moreover, this project will contribute to a general framework to evaluate the delivery of basic science concepts and project based learning services in undergraduate STEM education.
This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.