Taking a Look at the Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA): Student-Research Partnership Increases Survey Size, Hands-on STEM learning, and Research-Community Connections
This paper explores the dynamics of a research partnership between a practicing clinician/research and 34 West Virginia high school students participating in a precollege STEM intervention program. The collaboration provided a more diverse study sample to the clinician for examining attitudes about knee osteoarthritis in adults over 40. It provided students the opportunity to collect data from adults in their community within a highly structured research project and explore a range of research questions using the resulting cross-state data set. Data collection far surpassed the researcher’s expectations of 100 surveys; student researchers collected 1,129 unique surveys over nine months from difficult to reach Appalachian communities. This project illustrates the intervention program’s ability to support partner research efforts while opening the STEM pipeline to under-served youth by introducing aspects of community-based participatory research (CBPR) pathways to them in their formative years.