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Research Articles

Vol. 26 No. 3

Graduate Student Participation in K-12 Science Outreach: Self-Reported Impact on Identity and Confidence of STEM Graduate Students

September 9, 2021


Graduate students often serve as a liaison between a university and its surrounding community through their participation in educational outreach programs. Astronomy graduate students’ responses to open-ended survey questions about their experience volunteering with an educational outreach program were qualitatively coded to investigate how participating in educational outreach influenced their identity and self-efficacy as scientists and educators. We found that ‘connecting with students’ and ‘difficulty managing behavior’ enhanced and diminished, respectively, participants’ confidence and identity as scientists and educators. We suggest ways in which universities and departments can aid graduate students’ experience in educational outreach and the myriad of benefits that the individual, university, and community may reap when a higher value is placed on participation in educational outreach in graduate programs.