POETS seeks to increase STEM literacy, bolster the STEM P-20 pipeline, and broaden participation of students from populations that are underrepresented in STEM. To achieve this goal, POETS recruits and engages learners from diverse backgrounds across the P-20 education ladder, leveraging the relevance and high-impact application domains of the center’s research.
POETS education program feature a number of organizing principles and cross-cutting themes:
- Long-term engagement of learners and their instructors from middle school all the way to doctoral programs.
- Design-based challenges with cycles of refinement and improvement, which provide opportunities to engage learners and instructors in cycles of scientific inquiry and engineering design.
- Engagement with meaningful context in which design-based challenges draw from strong societal interest that include electric transportation, high-performance mobile devices, and fundamental energy conversation.
- Inter-generational communities of learners with interlocking circles of mentoring and collaboration team activities at both formal (e.g. middle school science classrooms, undergraduate courses) and informal learning setting (e.g., after school engineering clubs, RET programs).