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Title: A tale of two camps: A mixed methods investigation into racially disparate outcomes in a nanotechnology research experience

This mixed methods study reports data from the implementation of a 2‐week nanotechnology camp for secondary level students. The camp, Nanotechnology Experiences for Students and Teachers, had the overarching goal of increasing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) interest among the next generation of potential STEM professionals. Statistical pre‐ and postsurvey data indicate that overall the camp was successful in fostering increased STEM interest among participants. However, early analysis of ethnographic data showed that African American students were observed to have radically different experiences than the non‐African American students. To better understand why the camp yielded such divergent outcomes, we examined ethnographic data focusing specifically on incidents of microaggressions. We were particularly interested in the impact that microaggressions had on African American students’ camp experience and learning. Our data show that microaggressions were pervasive; they came from students, instructors, and the environment; and in response, African American students adopted detachment‐coping strategies. Together these factors worked against African American students’ success. We conclude with suggestions for practice.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Science Education
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 1456-1477
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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