A Conference on Informal STEM Learning in Rural Settings
As part of its overall strategy to enhance learning in informal environments, the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program funds innovative research, approaches and resources for use in a variety of settings. A frequently overlooked but significantly under-represented STEM audience is people who live in rural settings. The proposed conference is the first of its kind to bring together key innovators and experts in rural Informal STEM education, to address this question: How can we build on recent innovations to create more effective and scalable pathways for informal STEM learning in rural communities?
The conference will focus primarily on advancing informal STEM education for rural youth, but will also include some participants who cross boundaries, to situate the work in an ecosystem perspective: informal-formal education, childhood-adult education, rural ecosystems and economic drivers for STEM related jobs. The provisional list of topics will be refined through a pre-conference survey of participants, and will be followed with a report that includes survey responses, conference discussion, and final recommendations by participants. The conference will be held in Washington D.C. to enable policymakers to attend.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.