Who We Are

The SMART Collaborative is an interdisciplinary community of educators and researchers who are firmly committed to making schools places where all students want to be and want to learn.
The objective for this program is to develop a coherent set of instructional practices for teachers and community stakeholders that target motivational needs specific to early adolescents in Durham, NC. This program is distinctive in that this work will help teachers, the National Society of Black Engineers, and caregivers to unpack the concept of achievement motivation, thereby equipping them with strategies that are essential for discussing and intervening on specific aspects of motivation particularly relevant to early adolescents. Students will be empowered to substantively contribute to the improvement of the social and physical conditions in which they live by collaborating on meaningful projects that speak to issues they have identified within their own communities. Students will develop a sense of belonging within afterschool environments that support the development of mastery goals, a sense of autonomy and competence, and a view of STEM learning as meaningful and worthwhile. 
For teachers: Here is a detailed description of iScholar, the National Science Foundation Project Summary, and a recent research talk entitled, Using Voice, Choice, and Action to Create Transformative Experiences for Students in Predominantly Black Schools.

STEM Career Clubs Strategies project will establish after-school STEM Career Clubs at isolated rural middle schools in northeastern North Carolina. The goal of STEM Career Clubs is to implement an innovative, interactive, and research-based Strategic Teaming Model to increase the likelihood that participating students will pursue STEM majors and careers. STEM Career Clubs will provide students authentic experiences that build their interest in STEM and STEM-related careers. Moreover, students will explore project-based learning activities that extend the curriculum taught in the classroom and build student competency in STEM workforce skills, tools, and technology. An innovative, interactive, and research-based Strategic Teaming Model will be implemented to achieve the goal and objectives of STEM Career Clubs.