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Race, Inclusion, and Science: Things That Really Do Go Together

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Evaluation: Diversity in K-12 and Pre-college Engineering Education

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1299.1 - 26.1299.9



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Paper Authors


Jennifer R Amos University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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Dr Amos joined the Bioengineering Department at the University of Illinois in 2009 and is currently a Sr Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate programs. She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Texas Tech and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from University of South Carolina. She has developed and offered more than 5 courses since joining the faculty and has taken the lead roll in curriculum development for the department.

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Carla D Hunter University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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My program of research seeks to identify and analyze individual differences in the endorsement of various attitudes that characterize ethnic minority individuals’ experiences of resilience and risk in the U.S. racial context. Specifically, I hope to understand how cultural factors (e.g., worldviews, gender), identity, and the experience of race-related stress (e.g., perceived racial discrimination, racial microaggressions) may buffer or place ethnic minorities at risk for the development of poor mental health outcomes. This program of research has broad implications for defining cultural variables, creating measures that may be used in research, and developing a model of ethnic minorities' well-being in a radicalized context.

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Kathryn B. H. Clancy University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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Dr. Kathryn Clancy is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois. Her research interests are in human reproductive ecology, particularly ovarian and endometrial function, as well as in issues of intersectionality and inclusion in science. Dr. Clancy and her collaborators have examined relationships between inflammation and ovarian function in rural agricultural and urban sedentary environments, and explored ways of non-invasively studying the endometrium in rural contexts. Recently she and her colleagues have empirically demonstrated the continued problem of sexual harassment and assault in the field sciences, and forthcoming results suggest a link between these experiences and the career trajectories of female scientists. She continues to perform research on issues of inclusion, identity, and diversity in science through collaborations with GAMES, the Committee for the Status of Women in Astronomy, and other organizations.

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Ayesha Sherita Tillman University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Ayesha Tillman is an Illinois -STEM Education Initiative postdoctoral research associate currently working on several evaluations funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Ayesha Tillman received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Arizona State University and her Master of Arts in Research Psychology from California State University, Long Beach. She received her doctoral degree in Educational Psychology in the College of Education with a specialization in Evaluation. Prior to coming to Illinois, Ayesha worked as an education research associate in the Research and Evaluation Section of the Arizona Department of Education. Her research interests include the capacity of untrained versus trained evaluators, interdisciplinary STEM education evaluation, the evaluation of large multi-site educational programs, and using evaluation to positively impact higher education training programs. Her dissertation topic was: Using a values-engaged, educative evaluation approach to attend to diversity and equity in a multi-site science, technology, engineering, and mathematics program evaluation.

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Race, Inclusion, and Science: Things That Really Do Go TogetherThe social sciences contain many tools to encourage students to think more broadly abouthistorical and social contexts of problems in science and society. Social science methodologiesalso contradict the notion of science as a purely objective enterprise, which can be less alienatingfor individuals with identities that have been traditionally marginalized in science. Over the lasttwo years we have introduced social science methodologies and concepts to high school studentsthrough the Girls Adventures in Math Science and Engineering (GAMES) camp as a way to testthe hypothesis that social science may be used to facilitate and improve girls’ engagement withscience. We have found GAMES participants were excited to engage and ask scientific questionsaround the social construction of their identities (e.g., gender, race) and bodies (e.g., body image,stress). The motivation and engagement of these emerging scholars demonstrated the importanceof our model.We will use the success of this project to bring a scientific perspective to societal issues relevantto K-12 education in science more broadly through a train the trainer academy for K-12 teachers.The model will increase our public engagement capabilities by increasing the number of teachersable to implement our science engagement GAMES model in their home school districts andincreasing the number of students who benefit from the GAMES model through our train-the-trainer workshop.Many of the existing science engagement opportunities operate on a “deficit model” form ofscience outreach. That is, they are unidirectional and share new knowledge with the public,under the assumption that the public would become more engaged with science if they just knewmore of it (Hodson 2003). Research on science engagement suggests that sustained interactivemodels are more successful at engaging the public, creating more lifelong learners, bringingunderrepresented minorities and women into science, and retaining them as future scientists(Sadler 2004). The GAMES model brings girls together for a week, consistently engaging themon the relationship to what they are doing in their lab exercises to the real world. This expansionof the GAMES model has the chance to create broader curricular and extracurricular change thatwill enable sustained engagement.Our goal is to work with teachers to develop specific lesson plans to implement in their ownclassrooms which align with next generation science standards, specifically addressingengineering design, connections to literacy in science, and connections to society and theenvironment. intended short-term impact of the workshop is to empower educators with unique classroomresources and to encourage continuing education in teaching pedagogy. Teachers willincorporate new scientific knowledge into their curricula, address barriers they might encounterrelated to bringing combined social science experiments into their classrooms, and be seen asleaders in innovative teaching approaches in their district. Some teachers may enableextracurricular activities to further broaden participation at their schools.The intended long-term impact is to enrich the educational experience through science educationthat uses a more inclusive, holistic view of social science integration that piques interest inSTEM disciplines in traditional and nontraditional students, and provides framework for currentissues such as healthcare, health disparities, and environmental impact.Sadler T (2004). Informal reasoning regarding socioscientific issues: A critical review ofresearch. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(5), 513-536.Hodson D (2003). Time for action: Science education for an alternative future. InternationalJournal of Science Education, 25(6), 645-670.

Amos, J. R., & Hunter, C. D., & Clancy, K. B. H., & Tillman, A. S. (2015, June), Race, Inclusion, and Science: Things That Really Do Go Together Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24636

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015