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Institute for Measurement Methods in Rural STEM Education

Effective Years: 2021-2024

The goal of the Institute for Measurement MEthodology in Rural STEM Education (IMMERSE) is to increase the capacity of researchers to measure and study key concepts central to rural STEM education research. Drawing on measurement science and a unified validity framework, the IMMERSE training will enable rural researchers in STEM, social sciences, and education to undertake empirical studies that attend to rurality. Specifically, participants in the IMMERSE experience will obtain the skills to advance the field of rural STEM education research towards more consistent operational definitions and psychometrically sound measures of important constructs, for example, place-based education and community engagement.

IMMERSE will recruit two cohorts of 20 participants (Fellows) to engage in an intensive week-long summer training, with efforts to recruit researchers from underrepresented groups and minority-serving institutions in rural areas. Following the summer training, IMMERSE Fellows will then be provided on-going instruction, mentoring, and feedback on their measurement research projects. Fellows will be provided instruction and support from core faculty and nationally recognized experts in measurement methodology and rural STEM education throughout. IMMERSE Fellows will present the results of their measure development projects at a virtual summit the following summer. Through a partnership with the National Rural Education Association, the measures developed by IMMERSE Fellows will become part of a repository on their website for other rural researchers to use.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.