Effects of Mentorship and STEM Program at Innovation High School

Researchers: Ashley Orth; Astha Gupta; Rebecca Marquard; Marlena Endsley; Sarah Krawczak; Jessica Gerdes; and Ken Roberts

Research focus: The intent of this quality improvement study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a STEM education and mentorship program at Innovation High School in Spokane, WA. Our question was, does the program we designed positively effect student attitudes toward attending college, and pursuing STEM and/or healthcare careers? Innovation High is a public charter school for 9th-12th graders, located in Spokane’s East Central neighborhood. The school serves a diverse population of students, including a large percentage qualifying for free/reduced lunch, utilizing special education, and living in temporary, and/or transitional housing. Our program was intended to increase interest in healthcare/STEM careers among high schoolers from populations that are underrepresented in these careers. Our goal was to expose these students to healthcare and STEM fields, in an effort to inspire them to attend college and pursue careers in these fields.