Increasing Diversity in Science: Learning from Successful Program Models

Saturday, February 16, 2013: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Room 311 (Hynes Convention Center)
While the need to increase diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields has been recognized for many years, progress toward this goal has been incremental. Disproportionately few students from backgrounds underrepresented in science matriculate to college, and once there, these students are less likely than their majority peers to persist in STEM majors. Given this, how do we ignite and support student interest in science so that the scientific work force becomes more representative of our population as a whole? Despite our lack of progress nationally, research delineates effective strategies for increasing diversity in the sciences. These strategies include the following: first, engaging students when they are young (pre-college); second, providing students opportunities to conduct real research; and third, helping students develop lasting relationships with STEM mentors. The Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Mentoring (PAESMEM) recognizes programs that have demonstrated success in promoting access to science careers among underrepresented students. At this symposium, PAESMEM awardees will discuss concrete strategies for increasing interest and engagement in science. While sharing a common goal, the programs represent diverse approaches -- they range in age of students served, subject area, duration of program, and geographic area -- and thus have a broad range of accumulated expertise to share.
Rebecca L. Smith, University of California
Rebecca L. Smith, University of California
Chrysanthe Demetry, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Starting Early: Developing an Interest in Engineering Among Middle School Girls
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