"How do university educational outreach programs encourage high school interest in science? Dr. Irene Porro, a veteran outreach administrator discusses types and strategies of outreach programs, the programs she has been involved with at MIT, and her particular interest and commitment to improving science education in the United States.
Dr. Porro's training was in astrophysics. She shifted her talents to developing effective youth outreach programs and has been worked on such programs at MIT for over a decade. She is now Outreach Programs Officer for the MIT Office of Engineering Outreach Program where she supports the coordination of all OEOP's local and national enrichment programs. During her previous tenure as the Director of the Education and Outreach Group of the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Dr. Porro focused on adapting and making available education resources to support programming in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) for high school age youth and on establishing partnerships with local and national STEM out-of-school time organizations. She is also very active in promoting advocacy initiatives to support quality learning in STEM for under-served populations. In this context, she has been focusing on the issue of the transition from high school to college and overall on the STEM college experience of undergraduate students, especially from underrepresented minorities.
Irene Porro, PhD, Outreach Programs Officer for the MIT Office of Engineering Outreach Programs, School of Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology "