Skip to main content
Beginning this fall, a new team will be leading the Informal STEM Learning Equity Resource Center for the NSF AISL program. Read more here!

What is STEM Identity?

The concept of "identity" has become increasingly important in informal STEM education and science communication. We interviewed 13 researchers to learn how they're thinking about it.

In everyday language, one might define “identity” as the way that people answer questions such as: “Who do I think I am, or who can I be, where do I belong, and how do I think other people see me?” The concept of identity has become an increasingly important factor in the study of informal science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and science communication. And a growing number of designers name an enhanced science or STEM identity as an intended outcome for participants in their activities and programs. In 2017, the Evaluation and Measurement Task Force asked a sample of 13 STEM education researchers, science communication scholars, social psychologists, learning scientists, and informal science educators to share their thinking and work on this complex and rich topic.

Start with our overview, then delve into the diverse perspectives below to get a sense of the current landscape of research and practice in STEM identity.

Download the Overview