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Research Brief

Why Broaden Perspectives on Broadening Participation in STEM?

May 6, 2019 | Media and Technology, Public Programs, Professional Development, Conferences, and Networks, Exhibitions, Informal/Formal Connections

Though many communities are now undertaking collective efforts to transform who participates in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), the informal science education and science communication sectors are largely peripheral to these initiatives.

A task force assembled by the Center for the Advancement of Informal STEM Education (CAISE) spent 18 months examining how the public engagement with STEM sector typically presents and represents STEM, and deliberated on whether or not it does so in truly inclusive ways that can contribute to efforts to broaden participation. In this process, the task force identified five main issues that organizations and professionals in the field need to grapple with in order to truly contribute to broadening participation in STEM.

About this resource:

This is a practice brief produced by CAISE's Broadening Participation in STEM Task Force to help informal STEM education (ISE) and science communication groups reflect on and strengthen their efforts to broaden participation in STEM. It is part of a larger professional development toolkit, developed for those who lead staff or train professionals within the ISE and science communication fields.

Using practice briefs:

Practice briefs are intended to seed reflective discussions about professional practices, and be read in advance of group discussions among staff, colleagues, or trainees. They include ideas to consider, recommendations for action, further reading, and links to more tools. The task force recommends organizing multiple discussions, each using one or two briefs that participants read in advance.


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    Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE)
  • 2014 11 19 Calabrese Barton Angela 2014
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  • Citation


    Funding Program: AISL
    Award Number: 1612739
    Resource Type: Research Products
    Discipline: Education and learning science | General STEM
    Audience: Administration/Leadership/Policymakers | General Public | Educators/Teachers | Museum/ISE Professionals | Scientists | Evaluators | Learning Researchers
    Environment Type: Media and Technology | Public Programs | Professional Development, Conferences, and Networks | Exhibitions | Informal/Formal Connections

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