2018 ANNUAL LETTER FROM STATION1
Dear Station1 Friends, Colleagues, Partners, Supporters, and Fellows,
2018 was a landmark year for Station1 in so many ways. We continue to be driven by an imperative for change in science and technology education and research at multiple levels. From expanding access to the highest quality academic and professional learning, to designing a new higher education institution with inclusion embedded throughout, to re-framing the process of scientific research and technological development in a social, ethical, and equitable context - we are only at the beginning of an exciting journey. Working together from all corners of the globe, discussions with hundreds of scholars, practitioners, and students, the creativity of collaborators who share our passion for education and social change, and the incredible generosity of our supporters – this year, we opened the doors to our first home in Lawrence, Massachusetts!
At the heart of our activities this past year, was the development and launch of Summer@Station1, a ten week residential science and technology education, research, and internship program focused on societal perspective, responsibility, and impact. Drawing from an overwhelming pool of more than 800 applicants, we welcomed an amazing inaugural cohort of students to Station1. The Station1 Fellows joined us from as far away as Florida, Texas, California, and Puerto Rico and as close as Boston, Lawrence, Lynn, Malden, North Andover, and Quincy, Massachusetts. Several of our students are immigrants to the U.S., born in Haiti, Lebanon, South Sudan, and Mexico. Within our inaugural cohort, 94% of the Fellows were the first generation to attend college, Pell grant recipients (low income), and/or from under-represented minority groups. 56% were women and 44% were male students. Students were recruited from undergraduate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) degree programs at community colleges, baccalaureate (four-year, teaching) institutions, minority-serving institutions, and public institutions.
Evaluation data included direct assessment of learning by instructors through student generated work and retrospective (post) student and internship mentor surveys that evaluated experiences and perspectives on quality, satisfaction, and inclusiveness of the internship and Station1 learning environment. These data indicated that the program was academically, personally, and professionally transformative for the Station1 Fellows.
The students completed 270 hours of an internship and state-of-the-art research and development project in a leading science and technology company or university laboratory, and described their experiences as “amazing,” “fulfilling,” “valuable,” and “awesome.” In addition, students participated in a four-day, immersive inclusive leadership and collaboration institute (35 hours), which was delivered in collaboration with our partner nonprofit organization LeaderShape®, followed by a formal curriculum on personal and professional advancement held weekly over the summer. The unique Station1 shared curriculum on socially-directed science and technology (100 hours) was integrated into the experience which resulted in an enriched understanding and commitment to thoughtful, responsible, equitable, and ethical science and technology. The curriculum was delivered in blended format (face-to-face and digital) using an innovative, cloud-based platform called LabArchives which is used by more than 155,000 researchers worldwide. The students called the shared curriculum a “perspective-shifting experience,” “a call to action,” and “an experience that will accompany me throughout my life.”
The programmatic components that constitute Summer@Station1 (e.g. experiential, project-based learning, interdisciplinary engagement, undergraduate research, social inquiry, high quality STEM internships, inclusive leadership and collaboration) form a unique combination of high impact educational experiences. These types of educational opportunities, which are inequitably distributed across the higher education system, create an invaluable foundation for our students’ academic success, employment after graduation, competitiveness in application to higher levels of education, lifelong learning and career advancement for dynamically changing STEM fields.
Locally, we continue to cherish every day in Lawrence, Massachusetts, especially our interactions with the incredible community here. We are deeply grateful for our outstanding partner, Lupoli Companies, and the superb co-located student housing and learning space at Riverwalk. Our collaboration with the Lawrence History Center enabled us to incorporate the rich history of the city as an active part of our curriculum, and the students’ introduction to living in Lawrence. Through our national and international engagement, and our alumni, now distributed nationwide, we share our enthusiasm for Lawrence far and wide. We continue to prioritize the use of local vendors in Lawrence. Next year, we are excited to recruit more students from Lawrence and the Merrimack Valley to participate in the Station1 summer program, to develop additional curriculum and student projects of relevance to the city, and to engage more local companies as internship host partners. We also look forward to developing and aligning our new activities in support of key strategic directions for inclusive innovation and economic growth in Lawrence.
Simultaneously, we have been active in shaping the national and international dialogue on higher education and received hundreds of speaking invitations from all over the nation and the world. This past year we spoke at the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), the League of European Research Universities (a network of 23 leading European research universities), and Semesp (a national organization for Brazilian Higher Education), among many other venues. We also received three major grants from MIT: two MIT Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (MIT J-WEL) Higher Education Innovation Grants, and an award from the MIT d’Arbeloff Fund for Excellence in Education. These grants support curriculum development at Station1, as well as an effort to create and teach a STEM discipline-specific version of the social inquiry curriculum at MIT. We have been teaching this curriculum during the fall of 2018, and are planning to continue throughout the spring of 2019 at MIT. In 2018, our social media following grew to over 33,000 followers across academia, industry, business, and government. We are looking forward to expanding our influence and helping to catalyze a movement towards true equity in higher education and science and technology for social good, by addressing foundational structures, root causes, and norms across institutional, disciplinary, and cultural systems.
In summary, the Station1 major accomplishments for 2018 included:
Exceeding the fundraising goal for FY18 and raising base funds for FY19 from 22 major donors, foundations, and organizations and two earned revenue sources;
Developing, implementing, and assessing the highly successful inaugural 2018 Summer@ Station1 program;
Receiving three major grants from MIT and developing and implementing a STEM discipline-specific version of the social inquiry curriculum at MIT;
Carrying out extensive national and international engagement through over 25 invited keynotes, presentations, and workshops (1200+ attendees).
We have many exciting plans yet ahead. We continue to think critically about what it means to work toward systemic and equitable change in the higher education system, with our core principles of inquiry, inclusion, and impact at the heart of the way we engage with science and technology. We have aspirations for both significant and thoughtful scale, while maintaining the highest levels of program and educational quality, by developing new postsecondary financial models. Our short term plans include increasing student participation in the 2019 summer program - recently renamed The Station1 Frontiers Fellowship or SFF - in Lawrence and developing and implementing collaborative activities which contribute to local and regional inclusive innovation and economic growth. Simultaneously, we intend to carry out additional programs, activities, and partnerships that advance socially-directed science and technology nationally and internationally. We are formulating sustainable business models to grow and monetize Station1 assets and expertise into new earned revenue sources and developing a plan to bring Station1 to other cities. In the longer-term, we continue research and development in preparation for licensing to add degree-granting programs to our portfolio of activities.
We gratefully acknowledge the visionary support from our many founding donors and supporters. Their generosity has not only had a significant positive influence on the lives of our students, but will continue to have impact for years to come as they go out and make their mark on the world, and as the broader impacts of Station1 scale. We invite you to continue to engage with us via our website and social media (Twitter, LinkedIn), to join us at upcoming events, and to consider making a tax-deductible donation before we begin 2019 with plans for an even more ambitious and exciting journey ahead.