Month/Year of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Biomedical Biology (BTCHBS)



First Advisor

Dana Richter-Egger


Service-learning has been shown to enhance academic and leadership skills while promoting community engagement and exposing students to different career opportunities (Esson et al., 2005). While the benefits of service-learning courses are clear, few STEM courses include service-learning components (Esson et al., 2005). Here, students in a totally online 2nd semester UNO chemistry course completed a service-learning project where they remotely led a live, inquiry-based STEM activity for Girl Scouts. To quantify the impact of service-learning on professional development, future career plans, and future volunteerism, a series of pre and post surveys were administered. Paired-sample t-tests revealed a statistically significant increase in the development of leadership and communication skills, as well as the likelihood of future community engagement following completion of the service-learning experience. While not significantly altered, future career plans may have been reinforced rather than changed. Additionally, because the nature of the service-learning experience was an informal science education activity, a statistically highly significant increase in the confidence at explaining complex scientific topics to younger audiences resulted. Such beneficial outcomes provide considerable support for the importance of including service-learning in STEM courses throughout undergraduate education as the beneficial outcomes are vital for preparation for further professional school as well as entrance into the workforce.