The Baxter STEM Challenges are based on lessons and activities developed for the Baxter STEM Academy, a residential summer program that tasks high school students with some of Baxter Biopharma Solutions’ (Bloomington, IN) most vexing challenges. The academies were designed to foster a supportive, interactive, and engaging learning community for underserved and underrepresented students, many of whom were interested in STEM and eager to learn, but may not have had the opportunities to engage in activities that supported their career interests.
The challenges are designed to increase student interest and engagement by utilizing authentic, industry-led STEM tasks. The project also integrates feedback from professionals at Baxter Biopharma Solutions to help provide students with connections and role models for college and career trajectories.
The challenges have been developed to be immersive STEM learning experiences that are designed to help engender deeper interest and possibly commitment to pursuing STEM-related career pathways, which will ultimately contribute to addressing the issue of underrepresentation in STEM career fields.
Preliminary data from the Baxter STEM Academies suggests that the Baxter STEM challenges increase student interest, awareness, and content knowledge of STEM.