Name of Researcher
Dr. Rebbekka Darner and Matthew Hagamen
Name of Institution
Illinois State University
Goals of this IPREFER research objective
Document learning that occurs while engaging with the Cover Crops Science project book. Inform evidence-based revisions of the project book. Evaluate additions to the project to inform their revision. Support national 4-H adoption of the project book.
A project or question the intern might work on
The intern will pursue research relevant to the use of the IPREFER/4-H Cover Crop Science Project Book, though the team will identify the precise research direction in the first week of the internship. The data collection will be qualitative (e.g., interviews of educators, students) and quantitative (e.g., Likert-scored surveys, student observation) in nature. The intern will use this data to revise and add to the project book.
Please note: IPREFER’s Education/Outreach/Extension Team recently published a Cover Crops Science Project Book in cooperation with Illinois 4-H. Due to pandemic-related restrictions, the published version has not undergone much pilot research. This research will pick up in the spring and summer of 2022 in conjunction with greater outreach with 4-H, FFA, and other youth-oriented organizations. The revised project book will be submitted for national 4-H adoption at the end of the summer.
Knowledge, skills, or interests that students should have
Intellectual curiosity and a love for learning. Interest in identifying evidence-based ways to improve STEM instruction and learning. Beneficial but not required: teaching, youth development, or curriculum-writing experience.
Knowledge, skills, or experiences the student will acquire
Knowledge and experience conducting clinical, semi-structured interviews. Qualitative data reduction and analysis methods. Knowledge and experience in survey design. Quantitative data reduction and statistical data analysis methods. Knowledge and experience creating, implementing, and evaluating inquiry-based instructional methods. Knowledge and experience creating inquiry-based, hands-on STEM curricula.
Location of the work (field, greenhouse, lab; city)
The intern will sometimes be working with youth in the field, which will likely include occasional events in the summer sun; sunblock and insect repellent will be made available. The intern will also be working in a shared office within Illinois State University’s Center for Mathematics, Science, & Technology (CeMaST) with other staff in a collegial and fun work environment. The intern will be co-mentored by Dr. Rebekka Darner and Mr. Matthew Hagaman, STEM Instructional Designer at CeMaST.