The Future of Early Research

In our concluding chapter we, editors and chapter authors, summarize opportunities that exist for universal adoption of early research. We further provide specific recommendations for implementation across the educational spectrum of high school, community colleges and traditional four-year colleges and research universities.

1.0 Introduction
At the birth of a predicted new era for chemistry1-5 and with fast-moving changes across other STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields, including STEM education, we are convinced that early researchers, as defined in our introductory chapter, have an enormous opportunity to make significant contributions to science and society. We are persuaded that universal and seamless adoption of early research can be a game-changer with domino effects across the STEM education system. It can, for example, impact inclusion and diversity, curriculum and instruction, student success and retention, and teacher training and funding throughout our nation’s STEM education institutions, from primary to tertiary. We foresee a future not only of traditional research universities but also of research high schools and research community colleges. These early research institutions (ERIs) would represent much more than a prosaic and utilitarian impulse to conduct research. Rather, we envision ERIs fully embracing and nurturing the depth, breadth, and power of human curiosity. We believe that human curiosity is not only the foundation of all learning but it is our uniquely human and perhaps only path to survival in an often complex and challenging universe. In concluding The Power and Promise of Early Research, we, the book editors and chapter authors, highlight the opportunities and offer recommendations for the future of early research.

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