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Top 10 mistakes teachers make when providing STEM Research opportunities for their students

ASRT Nebraska 2023

The following points are reviewed in detail during the ASRT workshop
See the sections in the "Activities" tab for more details on the variety of topics covered during the full ASRT workshop.

  1. We think we need to be the mentor for every (or most) student.

  2. We limit the types of projects that students can work on based on our knowledge base and comfort level.

  3. We limit the scope of student projects based on the available equipment. 

  4. We limit the depth of student projects based on the time allotted for in-class projects during 1 school year.

  5. We consider each new school year as a year to start a new project and not continue to the next phase of the current project.

  6. We limit our students’ opportunities and/or success because we are not familiar with the different and ever-changing science fair/competition deadlines and restrictions.

  7. We allow students to get off track/fall behind, because we don't schedule regular and required "check-ins" to check on progress and set new goals.

  8. We underestimate the impact of students presenting with confidence and enthusiasm while also being well versed on all related and semi-related topics when presenting in science fairs.

  9. We don't use our more experienced students as student mentors/student teachers for the younger, less-experienced students.

  10. We underestimate the positive impact of students wanting to belong to a group with similar interests that can also understand and appreciate the challenges of carrying out a long-term, advanced STEM research project.

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