Public Discussion

  • Icon for: Natalie Toth

    Natalie Toth

    March 20, 2017 | 11:56 a.m.

    Hi Everyone - Natalie Toth here, the Program Manager for ASSisT. Our team would love to hear any feedback from those that view our video. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me directly at:


  • Icon for: Barbara Rogoff

    Barbara Rogoff

    March 20, 2017 | 05:04 p.m.

    Congratulations on your work!  I'm curious about whether you are adapting the three interventions differently for the refugee youth compared with the other two cohorts?

  • Icon for: Natalie Toth

    Natalie Toth

    March 21, 2017 | 04:48 p.m.

    Hi Barbara - great question! Here is some feedback from two of our PIs, Russ Isabella and Jordan Gerton.


    Based on our discussions about them, I would say that our approach to the interventions will be similar for each of our three groups, but for the narrative and devised theater interventions especially, each group will have a lot to do with the specific directions the interventions take.  So in my view, the simple answer is yes, and no, because the interventions are somewhat open-ended.  They are structured and also flexible.


    The overall design of each intervention is the same for each group.  The implementation might be somewhat different based on constraints and needs/desires of the members of the different cohorts.  And as Russ said, the devised theatre and narrative interventions are somewhat organic, so the products (and to some degree the process) might end up looking different.

  • Icon for: Barbara Rogoff

    Barbara Rogoff

    March 21, 2017 | 07:14 p.m.

    Thanks! Hi Russ....

  • Icon for: April Lindala

    April Lindala

    March 21, 2017 | 08:20 p.m.

    Miigwech (thank you) for this important work! In what ways have you identified scaling up to a larger audience? How will you measure success? This is really inspirational work. Look forward to learning more! Miigwech, April

  • Icon for: Natalie Toth

    Natalie Toth

    March 22, 2017 | 06:34 p.m.

    Hi April - great question! Here is more info from our co-PI, Russ Isabella.

    In my view, it would be virtually impossible and possibly irresponsible for us to talk about scaling up to a larger audience since we haven't even worked out all the details of how we are going to offer our interventions to the relatively small numbers of participants we are planning for.  I expect this will remain an open question for some time, and at the moment, it feels like putting the cart before the horse.

  • Icon for: Jeanne Century

    Jeanne Century

    Director/Research Associate Professor
    March 22, 2017 | 09:58 a.m.

    Hi Natalie - I love the theme of "renewal" that runs through your program. And, I appreciate your attention to these populations that are not at the forefront of conversations about broadening participation. Like April, I'd love to know a little more about the ways you are measuring your success - are you documenting changes in their self-efficacy or identity? I'd be so interested in seeing how those things change as they experience these interventions that tap into the creative sides of your participants; very different than so many of the interventions we see. Thanks for your thoughtfulness!

  • Icon for: Natalie Toth

    Natalie Toth

    March 22, 2017 | 06:33 p.m.

    Hi Jeanne! Thanks for your thoughtful question. Here is a response from one of our co-PIs, Russ Isabella.

    Regarding questions of how we are planning to measure "success":  Yes, we are planning to document changes in both identity and self-efficacy, and I believe we will approach this both quantitatively and qualitatively.  On the quantitative side, we will rely on a pretest-posttest design and we will use/adapt pre-existing measures of both identity and self-efficacy--but we haven't yet settled on these. (When Nalini and I were at the PI meeting, there was some discussion of trying to have common measures across all launch pilots studying identity and/or self-efficacy, perhaps along with other relevant measures that might be unique to a project.  This would be a great thing to pursue.) Qualitatively, I believe the narratives and interviews Becky will conduct will provide us with rich sources for exploring these questions of change.

  • Icon for: Leslie Goodyear

    Leslie Goodyear

    March 23, 2017 | 09:31 a.m.

    Congratulations on your project and your unique approach to engaging youth and adults in STEM. Along with the questions about measuring success that others have asked, I have two related questions: One, a clarification that all three populations will receive all three of the programmatic interventions (the drama, the autoethnography and the ecological restoration work). And my second question really gets at your larger theory of change: do you believe there is an order to these experiences (that is, one needs to come before the other)? And what is your theory about how these experiences will open up excitement and opportunity in STEM, in particular, for these participants? I look forward to learning more about your progress!

  • Icon for: Natalie Toth

    Natalie Toth

    March 23, 2017 | 02:43 p.m.

    Hi Leslie - thank you for the questions.

    1. Yes, all 3 cohorts (previously incarcerated youth, previously incarcerated adults, and refugee youth) will participant in all 3 of the interventions.

    2. We have not yet carried out the interventions nor assessment, so we cannot answer this great question. We hope to have a response in early 2018, after we do the implementation and evaluation. So stay tuned!

    Thanks again!

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.

  1. Natalie Toth
  2. Project Manager
  3. ASSisT: Alliance to Strengthen the STEM Tapestry
  4. University of Utah
  1. Nalini Nadkarni
  3. Project Director
  4. ASSisT: Alliance to Strengthen the STEM Tapestry
  5. Salt Lake County Jail, Utah State Office of Education, University of Utah

ASSisT: Alliance to Strength the STEM Tapestry

Our project focuses on the STEM-disenfranchised--those individuals who feel alienated, marginalized, or incapable of participating in STEM. Our alliance of organizations across the Salt Lake Valley and beyond will work with individuals at the University of Utah to provide STEM engagement opportunities to three distinct cohorts--previously incarcerated youth, previously incarcerated adults, and refugee youth. Through a series of novel interventions, we are attempting to measure individuals' shift in science-identity and self-efficacy. Our interventions are 1) ecological restoration, which will connect participants with science in a hands-on way; 2) devised theater, which will provide participants the opportunity to create an original, unscripted theater piece as it pertains to their science identity; and 3) self narrative--the process of self-reflection as it relates to previously engagement (or lack there of) with the scientific enterprise, either through the other interventions, or in their personal past. It is through these interventions will aim to measure and evaluate if a transformation in one's self-identity as it relates to science will occur, and how these participant's "see themselves" before, during, and after engaging with these innovative approaches to STEM.