Smith’s project will connect college, high school instructors to improve success of STEM students

Dr. Michelle Smith, who holds a C. Ann Merrifield Professorship in Life Science Education in the School of Biology and Ecology, will spearhead a project to improve first-year students’ transition from high school classes to college courses in the same subjects. Nation-wide data indicate that less than 50% of first-year undergraduates who start in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM ) fields have graduated with a degree in one those areas six years later. Most of the attrition occurs between the first and second year of college. The project, funded by the National Science Foundation, aims to connect college and high school instructors together to bridge the gap between the different classroom environments and design materials to help students with the instructional transition. More information is available in the University of Maine press release.