STEM Literacy and Service-Learning

PI Sally Blomstrom

This service-learning project investigates STEM literacy and involves students in sections of Speech (COM 219). Students create an audio tour about a specimen from the A. Jewell Schock Natural History Museum. The audio tour includes the specimen’s scientific name, a description of its biology, its habitat, its diet, and the forces of flight related to the specimen as well as its biomechanics.

They will be instructed to develop content which includes descriptive information about the biology of the specimen (science), the biomechanics used (engineering), dimensions of the specimen and its rate of speed (math). They will use technology in the process of creating and sending the audio files, and the museum will use technology to make the files available to visitors of the museum, both online and in person (technology). The goal is to have students engage in research on a STEM topic and then communicate their knowledge to a general audience using technology. We are investigating if, and to what extent, the project increases STEM literacy which is defined as a demonstrated ability to read STEM text, tables, and graphics with understanding, to evaluate the quality of the read information, to identify relevant information and incorporate that information in written or oral communication.

Research Dates

01/10/2013 to 12/31/2025


  • Sally Blomstrom
    Humanities and Communication Department
    Ph.D., M.A., Michigan State University