Calabrese Barton honored for science education partnership with Boys and Girls Club

March 28, 2012

Angela Calabrese Barton, professor of teacher education in the College of Education, has received the Outreach Scholarship Community Partnership Award from Michigan State University for her collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club of Lansing on the GET City initiative. This award, given annually, is in recognition of a mutually beneficial and sustained campus-community research partnership.

Since 2007, Calabrese Barton, along with her husband, Scott Calabrese Barton of the College of Engineering, have been partnering with the Boys and Girls Club of Lansing toward a vision of making the Lansing area a greener place to be. GET City, or Green Energy Technologies in the City, is a year-round program for youths age 10-14, from low-income or under-represented backgrounds in the city.

The program’s goal is to provide opportunities to develop scientific research skills and conceptual understandings related to green energy technologies and job skills development for the growing IT market. Now in it’s fourth year, the program has assisted over 120 youth in investigating locally and globally relevant issues in green energy.

Of the many program perks, students have the opportunity to meet with GET City partnership specialists in IT and engineering, which actively engages them with green energy sector leaders in their own city. Students have also used cyberlearning tools to educate peers on their findings, including digital public service announcements and wikis/webpages.

According to an article in the Lansing State Journal, “The GET City program gives our children the opportunity to strategically think beyond what they thought was possible,” said Lansing Boys and Girls Club President Carmen Turner, who also was recognized with the award. “Dr. Calabrese Barton and her staff set high expectations for the kids, which they meet and most often surpass. They understand how to apply what they learn in GET City into making better decisions about life. That’s what learning is really about.”

Research results have indicated that not only do the youth involved with the program perceive themselves as mastering high-level IT skills and actually using technology more frequently for academic endeavors, but their post-secondary education aspirations have also been significantly impacted.

The All-University Awards Convocation 2012 was held on Feb. 14, 2012 in the Wharton Center, where MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon congratulated Calabrese Barton and saluted her contributions to the university’s excellence.