NSF INCLUDES DDLP: Growing STEM engagement and participation in Native Pacific Islander communities
The University of Guam (UOG) NSF INCLUDES Launch Pilot project, GROWING STEM, addresses the grand challenge of increasing Native Pacific Islander representation in the nation's STEM enterprise, particularly in environmental sciences. The project addresses culturally-relevant and place-based research as the framework to attract, engage, and retain Native Pacific Islander students in STEM disciplines. The full science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) pathway will be addressed from K-12 to graduate studies with partnerships that include the Guam Department of Education, Humatak Community Foundation, Pacific Post-Secondary Education Council, the Guam Science and Discovery Society, the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and the University of Alaska-Fairbaanks. As the project progresses, the project anticipates further partnerships with the current NSF INCLUDES Launch Pilot project at the University of the Virgin Islands.
Pilot activities include summer internships for high school students, undergraduate and graduate research opportunities through UOG's Plant Nursery and the Humatak Community Foundation Heritage House. STEM professional development activities will be offered through conference participation and student research presentations in venues such as the Guam Science and Discovery Society's Guam Island-wide Science Fair and SACNAS. Faculty will be recruited to develop a mentoring protocol for the project participants. Community outreach and extension services will expand public understanding in environmental sciences from the GROW STEM project. Project metrics will include monitoring the diversity of partners, increases in community engagement, Native Pacific Islander participation in STEM activities, the number of students who desire to attain terminal STEM degrees and the number of community members reached by pilot STEM extension and outreach activities. Dissemination of the GROWING STEM pilot project results will occur through the NSF INCLUDES National Network, partner annual conferences, and local, regional and national STEM conferences.
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