FAQs

Upward Bound Program Participant FAQs:

  1. What if you have more than one Regular Upward Bound (RUB) project?

It is acceptable to have students from multiple projects sites. The participants need to be situated in a proximity close enough to participate in afterschool or weekend activities. The students will be working as a team in a blended learning environment where a component of their learning will be hands-on projects guided by a UB T3 project instructor, online lessons and in a distance project type environment. Initial startup kits are being designed to support 10 – 15 participants.

 

  1. How is the T3 Alliance structured in terms of time commitment from RUB participants? For example, is the curriculum delivered on Saturdays during the academic year, during the summer, or both? How many lessons total are included in T3 Alliance, and how much time does each lesson require?

It is anticipated that the delivery of the project curriculum will vary by each RUB depending on how they are structured and how many schools the project encompasses. Primarily the participants will come together after school or on weekends to work hands-on with a UB T3 project instructor on technology projects. The lessons can range from one to three hours of content.

The program is designed to be delivered semi-autonomous and asynchronous. The UB T3 project instructor will receive training on the hands-on-project facilitation, but the bulk of the curriculum and lessons will reside in the T3 Alliance web portal. Students who work through the online lessons will be ready for hands-on activities designed to build a sense of efficacy in using the skillset. There are various levels of competency, and participants are able to progress as quickly as the T3 project instructor can schedule time for the hands-on projects. Students can work to earn a license or a certification for different skills in an online and a hands-on environment.

Participants will receive training on communication strategies and skillsets needed to accomplish STEM related service projects. Throughout the year it is expected that a UB T3 project instructor will facilitate local presentations from the STEM community. During these presentations, participants and coordinators will identify possible service learning partnerships. A series of established processes for project management will be taught in online and hands-on training activities. Ultimately participants will have an opportunity to utilize the various skillsets in this project to make a difference in their community.

 

  1. How many lessons total are included in T3, and how much time does each lesson require?

Each of the subjects will have at least 20 structured lessons over the course of the program. The lessons will vary in their completion times according to their level of difficulty and the participants’ familiarity with the topics. A personalized learning methodology will be utilized to allow students to progress as they master various skill sets. In general, the lessons are structured so that they can be completed by a student in as quickly as one hour and/or up to three hour learning blocks. Extension activities are available with most lessons and can be utilized by coordinators who are working with highly motivated students.

 

  1. What outcome(s) do you expect T3 Alliance to impact?

The project is designed to enrich the current UB program goal of preparing students for postsecondary education by increasing their awareness and interest in STEM related majors and career fields. The project will measure the impact the curriculum has in increasing students’ awareness and interest in STEM related fields. The project supports the goals of your program, which is to keep the students active and interested in attending school, getting good grades and moving onto postsecondary education.

 

  1. Are other activities involved?

Along the way, we seek to involve students in a service learning project centered around the abilities of the technologies (i.e., what can be accomplished with the technology to help the local community, either independently or with a combined use of UAVs, 3D manufacturing and code-able devices). Local community being defined as either the UB community, the school community or the business /larger community in general. We have a lot of examples of service projects that can be used as inspiration.

Through the service learning project, students are exposed to and learn about team building, communicating science, system design thinking and leadership skills/practices. This also supports place-based learning and further connects students to STEM studies. These activities can be measured through rubrics shared with UB T3 project instructor and schools to optimize shared vision(s) for student achievement.

 

  1. Where, when, and how will IRB approval be obtained for the collection of data from human subjects?

IRB approval for the T3 Alliance has been obtained at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, through IRBNet. The T3 Alliance evaluation expands on the research plan currently being implemented with the Track 3 EPSCoR grant (Modern Blanket Toss), which served as the initial research the T3 Alliance grant is replicating.

The project evaluation will be conducted by an NSF approved evaluator. Student data will be securely coded and anonymous. Student participation will include informed consent of the active participants and program approval. The project is primarily interested in the basic demographics of the population served and tracking the individual’s postsecondary success, which is typically included in your annual APR. Students occasionally complete a quick online survey with no identifying information. The students’ identification demographics will be scrubbed so no individuals can be identified. We want to see if participating students are attending college and the career area they are interested in pursuing – so the evaluators are working on how the National Student Clearinghouse can be used or if we will need to incorporate a voluntary reporting format by the students.

There will be some case study examples, but those will probably be focused around successful staff and programs. In one case we are interested in how the leadership team maintains continuous communication over the performance of the grant.

 

  1. Is there a comparison group whose performance will be compared to that of RUB participants who receive the T3 curriculum? If so, who will be the members of this group and how will they be selected?

In addition to the raw number of participants progressing onto college in STEM fields and the pre- and post-performance indicators of the students’ interest in STEM fields, the comparison group will be the National demographics of UB performing students and the National statistics of underrepresented groups entering STEM fields.

 

  1. Will the fact that our RUB projects already have a fairly strong STEM focus (e.g., many of our RUB’s learning activities this past summer were associated with UAV drones) potentially compromise your baseline measurements?

The T3 Alliance is a value-added project and should only continue to support your program with additional materials and training. We intend to learn from you (and other RUB coordinators) as well as grow our understanding(s) of integrating high-interest technologies into successful STEM education.

 

  1. To what extent could we implement the T3 curriculum and utilize T3 equipment and supplies with the students in our two Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) projects? Even if these UBMS students were not officially part of your study, we would still like to find a way for them to learn more about coding and 3-D printing.

In general, that is not a problem. We want the lessons learned to spread across the project. For the official purposes of the grant, the materials, supplies and training are for the RUB and we wouldn’t want to limit the resources from reaching their intended audience. Specifically, feel free to use additional funding/resources to purchase supplies that would facilitate disseminating the lessons to other students and programs.

As an aside, we specifically did not target the UBMS so as to avoid the impression that we were assisting a program that is already orienting students toward STEM fields. The idea is to take a program with a lot of support for getting students into post-secondary and increasing the awareness and matriculation of the population toward STEM degrees.

 

  1. What is the maximum number of students who can participate at each site? For example, if all 200 of our Regular UB students wanted to participate, would that be possible?

Ideally, a maximum of two students per device is preferred. Therefore, a site with 15 devices could work with a total of 30 students. Yes, if you have additional funding/ resources to purchase more supplies, then all the students at your site can participate.

 

  1. What additional staff would need to be hired (how many persons with what qualifications for how many hours) in order to implement T3 at our site?

No additional staff will need to be hired. Professional development will be provided to current UB T3 project instructor. Each participating site should select one designated individual to serve as the UB T3 project instructor. In many cases, this person is the math/science specialist. The selected project instructor simply needs to have a high interest in learning and teaching more about UAVs, 3D printers or code-able devices – they do not need to be a current users – we will assist them with all they need to know.

The RUB needs to commit to letting the coordinator attend a specialized training held at the beginning of each project year at a regional location. The annual training includes hands-on training in the use of the technology and utilization of the web presence for receiving distance support. The T3 project instructor will have continuous support and training throughout the project.

 

  1. How much (in $$$) would the grant provide for us to hire each additional staff member, additional materials or a community project?

In addition to the transportation, training and online support for the T3 project instructor (referenced above) the grant will provide $3,500 per year to apply to the project.

 

  1. What types of equipment (UAVs, 3-D printers, etc.) would we need to purchase and how much would the grant provide toward the cost of those purchases?

To start, no purchase is necessary. Each project will be provided with annual kits (eventually providing, 3D printer, Raspberry Pi coding package, and UAVs). In addition, each participating site will be provided a $3,500 sub award per year of participation. These funds will provide annual support for individualized operating expenses at the site level.

 

  1. How much would it cost us to replicate this experience with our UBMS students?

For example, how much would it cost us to purchase additional 3-D printers and additional UAVs, etc. to provide the same experience to the 110 students in our UBMS projects?

The total supply costs are approximately $3,500 annually for 15 students. We are currently receiving requests from programs desiring to be active in the project, and are identifying a process for “outside” sites to join the project. Stay tuned for more details.

 

  1. What costs are allowable on the sub award?

At the beginning of each grant year, you will be asked to submit a budget and brief narrative (1-2 short paragraphs). You may request up to $3,500 per year of active participation in the project. Each site is anticipated to use some of these funds to refresh or replace kits as needed. In addition, a site may elect to use these funds to hire a guest speaker, organize field trips, or contract a content specialist, to name a few possible examples. These funds need to directly benefit the T3 Alliance objectives by supporting T3 participants and contributing to overall program success.

Your budget will be reviewed at the beginning of each grant year by the Principal Investigator, UAF Grant Fiscal Officer and UAF Procurement and Contracts Office to ensure the projected expenses are allowable and approved. Notable deviations to your budget need to be submitted for prior approval to ensure costs will be reimbursed.

For more specifics on allowable costs on the T3 grant, please refer to the T3 Scope of Work (provided) and the National Science Foundation Grant Policy Manual, Chapter IV – Allowability of Costs: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/manuals/gpm05_131/gpm6.jsp

If you have any specific questions regarding your budget or allowable costs, or would like to submit a revision to your budget, please contact the Grant Fiscal Officer who is managing the project funding. Please see Question #18 for GFO contact information.

  1. How will I get reimbursed for the expenses? When can I start spending?

Your first year of participation, the sub award will be created through the University of Alaska, Fairbanks Procurement and Contracts Office. Each additional year of participation, a modification will be processed to increase the sub award budget as indicated in the approved budget and budget narrative. Your institution will be required to review, sign and return the requested documents in a timely manner.

 

Once the sub award is set up and/or the modification is processed, you may spend funds as outlined in your budget. (Please see #14 for modifications to your budget or projected expenses). UAF will reimburse approved expenses as invoiced. Invoices must be submitted prior to the deadline indicated in the sub award to ensure reimbursement. However, invoices may be submitted any time throughout the grant year.

Please see Question #18 for the contact information for submitting invoices.

 

  1. Will the sub award accumulate Facilities and Administrative (F&A) cost at the negotiated rate for our institution to support administrative-related costs?

Given the nominal amount of funding for the annual sub award and the administrative assistance provided by University of Alaska, Fairbanks, we request that F&A is waived for your institution. This will allow all $3,500 to be applied to support the project directly. This means that your institution will be providing voluntary administrative support and resources in order to support the project. If you have any concerns about waiving F&A, please contact the Grant Fiscal Officer who is managing the project funding. Please see Question #18 for Grant Fiscal Officer contact information.

  1. Who do I contact if I have questions, or if I need to submit an invoice or report?

For PROGRAM-RELATED QUESTIONS, please contact the Principle Investigator.

 

Principal Investigator Example questions/concerns of this nature might consist of:
 

John Monahan

University of Alaska, FAI

(907) 474-6622

jdmonahan@alaska.edu

 

–     I need to submit my Annual Program Report or submit program data.

–     I need to update the program coordinator information for our institution.

–     I need to book program-related travel, how do I get this process started?

–     I have a creative idea, but I’m not sure if it fits in the scope of the project.

–     How does this program work, and how do I execute the program?

–     I’m having logistical or technical difficulties and I need assistance.

–     Is this participant eligible?

To SUBMIT AN INVOICE for reimbursement, email UAF Accounts Payable and “cc” the Grant Fiscal Officer:

UAF Accounts Payable: uaf-ofa-ap@alaska.edu

Grant Fiscal Officer (please cc): Contact information provided below.

 

For FINANCE-RELATED QUESTIONS, please contact the Grant Fiscal Officer who is managing the project funding. It is highly recommended that you “cc” the Grant Fiscal Officer on any finance-related communications. The Grant Fiscal Officer is the most central and informed individual regarding specific grant regulations and status of project financials. They will answer your finance-related questions, follow up on your finance-related requests with other UAF contacts and/or direct your questions accordingly.

Grant Fiscal Officer Example questions/concerns of this nature might consist of:
 

Lise-Marie Monroe

Central Admin Fiscal

University of Alaska, FAI

(907) 474-5370

ldmonroe@alaska.edu

 

–     Was my invoice received, and is it being processed?

–     I need to modify my budget mid-grant year. The original plan has changed.

–     Is this an allowable cost on my sub award?

–     How much have I invoiced on the sub award so far?

–     When do I need to submit invoices?

–     I need to update the sub award contact information for our institution.

To submit SIGNED PAPERWORK FOR YOUR SUB AWARD, please refer to the directives in the email where the paperwork request was originated. You may be submitting the paperwork to the Grant Fiscal Officer, or to the Procurement and Contract Services office at UAF.   When in doubt, you can always email paperwork submissions to the Grant Fiscal Officer, and they will forward the paperwork accordingly (see the above Finance-Related Questions for contact information).