Summer Immersion Faculty Information

Data (Schwartz 2008) shows that one month of depth study in a STEM area in high school significantly improves success in college science. We want to provide a three-week summer research-like experience for our FirstSTEP Scholars who are completing their freshman year. Our goal is for Scholars to learn some tools and techniques that will be helpful in future research and to experience discovery/inquiry at some level in a team project. FirstSTEP Scholars are MTSU STEM majors who have completed Pre-calculus, Calculus I, and perhaps one or two courses in their major.

We need STEM faculty to propose a 3-week team project for Summer May Term (Part of Term - S1). A faculty member will mentor/supervise a team of up to 5 FirstSTEP students working on the project. Faculty pay is $3000 for the three-week period. The faculty member is NOT expected to be with the students on a full-time basis. FirstSTEP will pay for two undergraduate assistants to supervise the team on a full-time, 40 hours per week, basis. One assistant will be an experienced upper-division undergraduate assistant (selected by the faculty member) who will lead the team in the faculty member's absence. The other assistant will be a lower-division FirstSTEP student (selected by the FirstSTEP Committee) who will have participated as a team member the previous summer.

Upper-division assistants will be paid $2000 and Lower-division assistants will be paid $1,500.

Projects will begin on Monday of the Summer May Term (Part of Term - S1) and run for 3 weeks. An orientation meeting will be held on the Sunday afternoon before the projects begin on Monday. Please submit a proposal online at the FirstSTEP secure web site - a link is provided below.

A proposal should:

  1. Describe the project at a level a lay person can understand the basic idea of the project.

  2. Describe the research tools and/or techniques each scholar will learn as part of the project. Mention any particular instrument or equipment the student will learn to use in the project.

  3. Describe the inquiry experience each scholar will have as part of this team.

  4. Describe where the students will work and what a typical day looks like for a student.

  5. Describe specific freshman courses that would be helpful to have been completed prior to participating in your project, if any.

  6. Provide names and contact information of undergraduate assistants who may help you with the project.