Conference Grant: Informal Science for Latinos
The Self-Reliance Foundation will develop a conference that has the overarching goal of laying the groundwork for the development of strategic partnerships for involving Latino audiences in informal science learning, led by informal science institutions nationwide. Numbering over 42 million, Latinos are now the largest ethnic/racial minority group in America; in recent years, 1 of every 2 new Americans has been Latino. Educational opportunities, formal and informal, are not keeping pace. Latino students score lower on math and science achievement tests than national averages, enroll at disproportionately lower levels, and are underrepresented in undergraduate and graduate science and engineering programs. Latino families are under-represented among those who visit science centers and other like institutions. Latino students are under-enrolled in after-school programs. There is no Spanish-language NPR or PBS; there is little science available on Spanish-language media, including radio, television, and newspapers. The conference will bring together informal science institutions and science research organizations together with Hispanic organizations, media, and educational projects to review current ISE resources, identify needs and gaps, learn about best practices in designing culturally effective programs and resources, and develop new strategies and resources to enrich the informal science learning environment for Latinos.