button-download-workshop-filesThread: Equity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Session III: 2:00 – 3:00 PM


Progress has been made to understand the different factors that influence the participation of underrepresented groups within STEM ecosystems, yet research findings are often misapplied through “quick-fix” solutions that address a snapshot of STEM ecosystems. This interactive workshop will build participant knowledge in applying new research findings through specific strategies and authentic examples of practices that promote equity in P-12 settings, informal learning settings, and higher education.


Provost_Lauren 2017Lauren Provost, Ph.D.

Director of STEM Outreach
Dartmouth College

Biography:  Dr. Lauren E. Provost is the Director of STEM Outreach at Dartmouth College. Her research interests include STEM education and policy and quantitative methodology. She currently serves on the NH STEM Governor’s Task Force and previously served on the Massachusetts Department of Education’s STEM Advisory Council, charged with developing the definition of STEM as well as developing effective strategies for addressing K-12 STEM education and policy. On the national level, Dr. Provost serves on the policy and professional development committees for the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity. Her two most recent publications include a review of the social-justice themed work, Rethinking Mathematics by Eric Gutstein and Mathematics Achievement Gains of Rural, Urban, and Suburban Students between Kindergarten and Eighth Grade for the Carsey Policy Institute. In all her work, she is an advocate for equity and excellence in education for all students.


This workshop will expose participants to key research findings through specific strategies and authentic examples of equitable practices in education. Workshop participants will engage in think-aloud protocols and role-playing techniques to build an understanding of strategies that are relevant to educators and leaders in both formal and informal educational settings and higher education.

A a variety of complex, interwoven factors influence the participation of underrepresented groups across STEM pathways, from early childhood through their K-12 educational experiences into higher education. Progress has been made to understand different factors that influence the participation of underrepresented groups within STEM ecosystems, yet research findings are often applied through “quick-fix” solutions that address a snapshot of STEM ecosystems. There is little or no evidence that these bandaid-type solutions result in measurable increased participation. Most professional development promotes general practices rather than content-specific or authentic practices that promote equity.

Failure to effectively apply research in STEM education is a root cause of the failure of many reform efforts across the United States. Understanding that different factors influence the participation of women and other underrepresented groups within STEM ecosystems is complex and there is still much to learn, but newer research tells us key information about the development of STEM interest, identities, career awareness, teacher training, and learning settings.

Parents, teachers, and other educational leaders are often part of first experiences with STEM; therefore, they are integral to the relationships developed with the STEM disciplines. Professional development is imperative because impact can be made to build awareness of equitable practices (Campbell, 1995; Karp, 1988). Teachers, higher education, and industry participate in creating environments that either foster equitable environments or create uncomfortable and sometimes hostile environments that cause a lack of retention across STEM pathways. We present authentic examples that embrace and connect to the complex STEM ecosystems in which equity can be assessed.

This workshop provides practical, ready-to-implement, current, research-based, equity practices in STEM education from preschool through high school and higher education, covering an array of community and social factors, all key in understanding increasing underrepresented groups’ participation within complex STEM ecosystems.

Participants will:
• understand current definitions of STEM education, the role of the arts, and how they differ and influence equity in STEM education
• understand research-based conditions and concrete applications that promote effective STEM education in schools and informal learning settings
• participate in role-playing and think-aloud activities that build application knowledge and provide participants with ready-to-implement strategies
• understand problematic applications of STEM educational research
• build skills to create their own library of research specific to their own professional area
• understand the AERA standards and how they are applied in the review and critique of research
• understand teacher and mentor practices that support effective STEM education
• gain knowledge of model STEM programs that explicitly focus on equity and what is needed to implement these elements
• understand the use of inquiry as a way to embed equity in specific STEM content

Activities will encompass:
• creating reusable equity reflections
• reviewing equitable curricula that create space for integrating students’ personal experiences and interests, and that provide local relevance
• reviewing video examples illustrating the critical pedagogical role of iterations (both for reframing failure)
• reviewing case studies of rich mentoring experiences–connecting ideas and activities to possible STEM futures
• developing a list of equity indicators

Think-aloud activities will model:
• generative sharing and feedback opportunities
• multiple pathways for engagement
• recognizing and cultivating potential in all students
• cultivating intellectual safety, risk taking,and opportunities to iterate and evolve support equitable instruction
• encouraging/scaffolding student talk and sense-making • identifying and building on agency, interest, and self-efficacy
• combatting societal factors in the classroom, informal learning settings, and higher education
• grounding activities in equitable practices


This workshop will assume only participant interest in building knowledge of research-based equitable practices in education.