Leadership Workshop for Achieving Scale for Inclusion in STEM
Despite strong efforts by many people and institutions and a deep, ongoing commitment from the National Science Foundation, progress remains uneven and slower than desired with respect to broadening participation of people from all parts of society in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The broadening participation challenge will become even more urgent with increasing demographic and socioeconomic changes underway in our nation. Through this conference and workshop grant, the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) will convene a group of diverse thought leaders from across higher education, profit, non-profit, K-12 and informal STEM education sectors for one day of brainstorming and prioritizing possible ideas, strategies, and actions that could be aggressively pursued by broadening participation initiatives. The findings of this workshop could support ongoing, field-wide discussions about the next generation of projects and efforts to address issues of underrepresentation in STEM. This workshop will build upon a foundation of existing NSF programs and funded projects and will draw upon ongoing efforts by ASTC's Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) to address broadening participation challenges in informal STEM learning environments. The project is funded by the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program, which seeks to advance new approaches to, and evidence-based understanding of, the design and development of STEM learning in informal environments. This includes providing multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences, advancing innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments, and developing understandings of deeper learning by participants. The Inclusion Across the Nation of Communities of Learners that Have Been Underrepresented for Diversity in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES) Leadership Workshop will engage up to 55 local and non-local participants from the higher education, profit, non-profit, K-12 and informal STEM education sectors that have been selected for their extensive but varied experiences with efforts to broaden participation in STEM. Before the workshop, participants will prepare for the plenary talks, panel presentations, and breakout session discussions by reading selected literature about effectively scaling innovations, collective impact strategies, catalytic innovations, and other related theory. Specific goals of this one-day workshop are 1) to consider potential scalable high-impact innovations in STEM education to assure success for all people across the nation; and 2) to generate ideas, strategies, and actions that could substantially alter the current landscape and potentially achieve a transformative change for inclusion. ASTC proposes to disseminate the workshop findings to worksop participants, the broader communities to which participants belong, and even the National Science Foundation. A workshop synthesis report and other content generated at the workshop (speaker slides, presentation video, graphic documentation to name a few) will reside at ASTC's informalscience.org website. ASTC proposes an extensive communications media strategy that will draw stakeholder attention to these resources and support field-wide discussion and action around broadening participation.