The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is excited about a new collaborative partnership with the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM). The NCSSM, which opened in 1980, is the nation's first public, residential high school with a specialized curriculum in science and math for high school juniors and seniors.
It is widely known that America is facing a serious and persistent problem in educating sufficient numbers of women and minorities in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) disciplines. The number of
minorities in STEM disciplines is not only in decline, but there are not enough students from these under-represented groups entering degree programs to help close the divide in the future. The food, agricultural, environmental and life science disciplines are no exception.
Hence, the Creating Awareness of Agriculture and Life Sciences Disciplines, Degree Programs and Discoveries (CAALS 3-D) Project was born. To further enhance the transdisciplinary nature of this project, faculty from the College of Natural Resources serve as collaborators, partners and supporter for the project. Faculty in Forensic Anthropology (College of Humanities and Social Sciences) are providing summer research experiences for this project as well.
The NCSSM endeavors to provide unique opportunities for their students to interface with scientists at local universities in order to generate rigorous exploration that will help shape the students’ future academic and professional aspirations.
Also, CALS is committed to engaging high school youth in cross-cutting, innovative research. The CAALS 3-D
Project targets male African-American, Hispanic/Latino and Native American youth as these groups are most under-represented in the CALS student population.
The CAALS 3-D Project endeavors to work with NCSSM male students from those under-represented groups to:
1) increase their awareness and interest in career fields within the food, agricultural, environmental and life
2) increase their awareness and interest in cutting-edge research in the food, agricultural, environmental and life
3) engage them in innovative hands-on research with faculty in CALS and closely related disciplines within the
College of Natural Resources and other Colleges at NC State
4) expose them to committed faculty and students who can serve as their mentors and role models.
By implementing the CAALS 3-D Project over time, we hope to develop a model of best practices for university recruitment, outreach and engagement efforts targeting this group.