NAEP Summer Intern Blog Series: First weeks and meeting Dr. Peggy Carr

By Grace Eke

Throughout the summer, we’re highlighting the experiences of some of our NAEP interns, in their own words.

We’re kicking off this year’s intern blog series from the perspective of Grace Eke, who shares what the first few weeks of her internship has been like and her impressions meeting Dr. Peggy Carr, the acting commissioner for Assessment for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) which oversees the NAEP program. This summer, Grace is collaborating with ETS senior research scientist and mentor, Danielle Guzman Orth, on a project to unpack strategies to address opportunity gaps among historically marginalized populations in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM):

Now in the second week of my internship, I attended meetings and continued working on a literature search as part of the foundation of my project. My favorite meeting for the week was with Dr. Peggy Carr, who works at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) as acting commissioner. My fellow interns and I had the privilege of introducing ourselves and asking her questions. She was able to address some important topics like the changes in NCES’s approach to collecting data due to COVID-19 and it was during this meeting that I got a deeper understanding of how NCES operates. I also gained some insight about how researchers can use information from NCES to make strides that will later improve learning.

I also made some progress on my project this week. My project focuses on how embodied modeling can be used to improve learning in STEM particularly for those with disabilities. My mentor, Danielle, and I were able to agree on key terms to begin my literature search. This sets me up to start looking for articles and to begin finding information that will help me answer my research questions. I’m grateful for my progress this week. It’s a great learning experience, and it’s helping me along my journey to ultimately decide what I want to do after I graduate.

Grace Eke is NAEP-Sumer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) intern who is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans.