In May of 2007, Stony Brook University’s STEP, CSTEP and LSAMP programs partnered with the Department of Geosciences in a National Science Foundation initiative called Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences (OEDG). Initial funding for two years was followed up by an additional five years of funding in the summer of 2009. The Stony Brook program, called GeoPREP, collaborates with Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University’s Center for Science and Mathematics Education, and Stony Brook’s Department of Geosciences and Technology and Society and the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences.
GeoPREP is a multi-track program that serves underrepresented minority students from high school through graduate school. The primary audiences for this project are high school students from high needs school districts on Long Island, underrepresented minority undergraduates, and in-service and pre-service science teachers. The program addresses the lack of scholastic follow-up opportunities for students in New York State whose interest in the geosciences has been whetted by 8th or 9th grade Earth Science. Program elements include an intensive summer residential geoscience research program for high school students, a series of in-service teacher training workshops to develop new interdisciplinary geoscience curricula, and through partnering with Brookhaven National Laboratory, webcasts from the National Synchrotron Light Source and further development of the Open Space Stewardship Program. New components include the introduction of an academic-year university laboratory visitation program that provides for expanded hands-on geoscience learning activities, scholarship support for undergraduates in the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, and a longitudinal study of attitudes and possible biases towards the geosciences by underrepresented minority students.