Preparing the next generation of scientists and innovators is crucial. But we also want to ensure that the new generation is more inclusive than the one preceding it, incorporating people from groups that have traditionally been underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Broadening participation in STEM education invites new ideas and perspectives that will help us meet pressing global challenges. In an effort to improve and advance participation across underrepresented communities, NSF is proud to launch INCLUDES, a comprehensive national initiative to expand the culture of diversity in science and engineering across all sectors.
Last week, NSF and the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), as well as ASTC’s Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE), brought together a diverse group of thought leaders from across the nation to generate innovative ideas aimed at helping to re-engineer the ecosystem of efforts to broaden participation. Outcomes and findings from this workshop will be instrumental for ongoing efforts in STEM education across K-12 and higher education, and for shaping the trajectory of NSF INCLUDES. It’s important to remember that can we enable solutions by seeking people of different backgrounds, with different ways of looking at problems. Supporting a diversity of perspectives today will help drive the innovations of the future.
Photo credit: ASTC