Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Community Engagement Division
This year, our Research Institute has launched a new initiative to address the glaring underrepresentation of girls and women in STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics - fields. Motivated by the critical imperative of better understanding and addressing the gender biases that inhere early on in the STEM pipeline, this initiative aims to provide innovative training and support to young women in STEM as they transition through high school and college to successful technology careers. This initiative is distinct from traditional pipeline projects because it does not focus on the technical skills and education of STEM. Instead, the project takes an interdisciplinary approach to STEM education, infusing students’ technical training with leadership training through a lens of gender inequality - bringing together key components of feminist pedagogy, community engaged learning, and experiential education to create a transformational learning experience. This is achieved by employing three core strategies: research-based education, a train-the-trainer model, and cohort-based learning. Our initiative launched this fall with approximately 100 participants: 20 undergraduate student leaders focusing on or interested in STEM, paired to co-lead 10 high school partner groups (each with 6-8 students). Our high school partnerships are with groups or organizations focused on STEM and vary in their context of socioeconomic advantage and learning setting (e.g. in-school and after-school). We are working in close partnership with our University’s Center for Public Service and Office of Community Engaged Learning to build both an educational program and research agenda that emphasize the value of reciprocity, partnership, reflection, evaluation, and respect for diversity. In this paper, we present the lessons learned from our pilot year, including: the results from our feasibility evaluation, an assessment of our partnership model, and our approach to scaling. Assessment of the students and their progress is ongoing.
Jordan-Bloch, S., & Cohen, S. (2018, June), Engagement in Practice: Infusing the STEM Pipeline Through Community Engaged Learning Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30385
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