Why Broaden Perspectives on Broadening Participation in STEM?

Monday, May 6, 2019
Resource Type:
Research Brief | Research Products
Environment Type: 
Media and Technology, Public Programs, Professional Development, Conferences, and Networks, Exhibitions, Informal/Formal Connections
Administration/Leadership/Policymakers | General Public | Educators/Teachers | Museum/ISE Professionals | Scientists | Evaluators | Learning Researchers
Education and learning science | General STEM
Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE)

Though many communities are now undertaking collective efforts to transform who participates in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), the informal science education and science communication sectors are largely peripheral to these initiatives.

A task force assembled by the Center for the Advancement of Informal STEM Education (CAISE) spent 18 months examining how the public engagement with STEM sector typically presents and represents STEM, and deliberated on whether or not it does so in truly inclusive ways that can contribute to efforts to broaden participation. In this process, the task force identified five main issues that organizations and professionals in the field need to grapple with in order to truly contribute to broadening participation in STEM.

About this resource:

This is a practice brief produced by CAISE's Broadening Participation in STEM Task Force to help informal STEM education (ISE) and science communication groups reflect on and strengthen their efforts to broaden participation in STEM. It is part of a larger professional development toolkit, developed for those who lead staff or train professionals within the ISE and science communication fields.

Using practice briefs:

Practice briefs are intended to seed reflective discussions about professional practices, and be read in advance of group discussions among staff, colleagues, or trainees. They include ideas to consider, recommendations for action, further reading, and links to more tools. The task force recommends organizing multiple discussions, each using one or two briefs that participants read in advance.

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