Transforming Students’ Partnerships with Scientists through Cogenerative Dialogues

October 1st, 2013 - September 30th, 2017 | PROJECT

The University of Texas at El Paso will conduct a research project that implements and documents the impact of co-generative dialogues on youth learning and youth-scientist interactions as part of a STEM research program (i.e., Work with A Scientist Program). Co-generative dialogues seek to specifically assist with communication and understanding among collaborators. Over four years, 108 11th grade youth from a predominantly (90%) Hispanic high school will conduct STEM research with twelve scientists/engineers (e.g., chemist, civil engineer, geologist, biologist) and undergraduate/graduate students as part of 7 month-long after school program, including bi-weekly Saturday activities for 5 months followed by an intensive month-long, self-directed research project in the summer. Youth will be randomly assigned to experimental groups that include the co-generative dialogue treatment and control groups without the intervention. The scientists and their STEM undergraduate/graduate students will participate in both experimental and control groups, with different youth. Youth will receive high school credit to encourage participation and retention. The PI team hypothesizes that co-generative dialogues will result in improved learning, communication, and research experiences for both youth and scientists. Educational researchers will conduct co-generative dialogues, observations, interviews, and surveys using validated instruments to address the following research goals: (1) To investigate the impact of the treatment (co-generative dialogues) on youth knowledge, attitudes, perceptions of their experience, and their relationships with the scientists; (2) To investigate the impact of the treatment on scientists and graduate students; and (3) To identify critical components of the treatment that affect youth-scientist interactions. It is anticipated that, in addition to providing in-depth STEM research experiences for 108 youth from underrepresented groups at a critical time in their lives, the project will result in widely applicable understandings of how pedagogical approaches affect both youth learning and scientist experiences. The project also seeks to bridge learning environments: informal, formal, university and digital.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

Poster - Transforming Students' Partnership with Scientists Through Cogenerative Dialogues
Video: Work With a Scientist Program at UTEP
Working With A Scientist Program (WWASP): A Summative Assessment of Cohort 1
Working With A Scientist Program (WWASP): A Summative Evaluation of Cohort 2
Working With A Scientist Program (WWASP): A Summative Evaluation of Cohort 3
Working With A Scientist Program Summative Evaluation Report
Poster - High school students’ science learning in a university internship: A cultural-historical activity theory perspective
Poster - An engaging partnership between high school students and scientists
Poster - Transform Students’ Learning Motivation from Extrinsic to Intrinsic Through Cogenerative Dialogues
Poster - Enhance a student-scientist partnership through a collaborative approach with cogenerative dialogues
Poster - Storytelling by an exemplary scientist to engage high school students in scientific practice
Poster - Communicative patterns of cogenerative dialogues between high school students and scientists

Team Members

Pei-Ling Hsu, Principal Investigator, University of Texas at El Paso
Elena Izquierdo, Co-Principal Investigator, University of Texas at El Paso


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: AISL
Award Number: 1322600
Funding Amount: $455,462


Access and Inclusion: English Language Learners | Ethnic | Racial | Hispanic | Latinx Communities
Audience: Evaluators | Scientists | Undergraduate | Graduate Students | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Chemistry | Education and learning science | Engineering | Geoscience and geography
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Afterschool Programs | Laboratory Programs | Public Programs