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Listen and learn : Research paper
Lecture presentation

Sunday, November 29, 10:15–11:00 am PST (Pacific Standard Time)
Presentation 2 of 2
Other presentations:
New PLN Research: Why Do Some Educators Lurk While Others Lead?

Dr. Melissa Wrenchey  
After 6 years we have learned a lot about what makes outreach successful. This year we used Action Based Research to show our CS program was beneficial to the entire community. Parents, Alumni, Mentors and Mentees reflections and data will be included along with resources.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Topic: Equity & inclusion
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Career and technical education, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Shape, advance and accelerate a shared vision for empowered learning with technology by engaging with education stakeholders.
  • Advocate for equitable access to educational technology, digital content and learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of all students.
For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.
Additional detail: Session recorded for video-on-demand, Graduate student
Influencer Disclosure: This session includes a presenter that indicated a “material connection” to a brand that includes a personal, family or employment relationship, or a financial relationship. See individual speaker menu for disclosure information.

Proposal summary


I use participatory action based research to participants for my Ed doctorate problem of practice. I spent the last year interviewing, surveying and coding the interviews in order to record data and look for patterns. The theoretical framework is based on Social Cognitive Career Theory and developing student self-efficacy through mentorship.


The research is conducted in cycles. I started in Cycle 0 developing the survey and interview instruments. The participants in the research are students who have designed and delivered the content, and students who were mentored by these students, former alumni who volunteered in the program and parents of the mentees were also included; all were approached as part of the program and provided a no-risk, harm to being part of the research. I asked questions about persevering through computer programming issues, how mentors made students feel like they belonged in STEM fields and how the experience encouraged the mentors to feel like they were Subject Matter Experts.


The results were patterns of alumni continuing in STEM fields through college, and increased community connections. Younger students enjoyed the STEM fields and found new mentors. I am expecting to locate new opportunities to replicate this program in other communities. Our data will be collected by March with some initial coding of the data. I will have some anecdotal research to share from surveys from alumni and include numbers of participants and mentor content.


Through the six years of the program, we have seen an increase in the women going into STEM fields and staying there. They have confidence as leaders and they have also increased awareness in middle and elementary schools that STEM is inclusive. The philosophical concept is that we want to see more students become leaders and find new communities to replicate this work. Student leaders will have an increased entrepreneurship skill as a result of stepping into roles of leadership. Participants will see that STEM leadership is inclusive and diverse.


Bandura, A. (1990). Some Reflections on Reflections. Psychological Inquiry, 1(1), 101–105.
Boyd, N. G., & Vozikis, G. S. (1994). The Influence of Self-Efficacy on the Development of Entrepreneurial Intentions and Actions. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 18(4), 63–77.
Brydon-miller, M., & Maguire, P. (2003). Why action research ? 1(1), 9–28.
Fouad, N. A., & Santana, M. C. (2017). SCCT and Underrepresented Populations in STEM Fields: Moving the Needle. Journal of Career Assessment, 25(1), 24–39.
Karcher, M. (2009). Increases in Academic Connectedness and Self-Esteem Among High School Students Who Serve as Cross-Age Peer Mentors. Professional School Counseling, 12(4), 292–299.
Lecorchick, D., Maynard, J., Morin, M., Nichols, S., Peterson, B., & Ruesch, E. Y. (2018). School Based Mentoring. The Elementary STEM Journal, (September), 18–24.

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Dr. Melissa Wrenchey, N. Tesla STEM High School
Graduate student

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