AAUW NGCP Liaison in Action at STEMtech 2010!December 21, 2010
On November 1, I presented at the STEMtech 2010 League for Innovation conference in Orlando, Florida (STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). I’m an electrical engineer and an AAUW regional liaison to the National Girls Collaborative Project. My presentation was titled “Increasing the STEM Pipeline: Why So Few and What to Do?” The focus of the presentation was a successful National Science Foundation program that demonstrates how to bring those learning about science, engineering, and mathematics from pre-K through college into the professional world.
We are doing this work to combat the United States’ risk of losing the battle of global competitiveness and to curtail gaps in the STEM education-to-work pipeline. Women make up half the U.S. workforce but are underrepresented in many STEM fields. We know that environmental and social barriers affect the demographics of women and minorities entering this arena and that creating role models is critical to engaging and keeping women on track for STEM careers, along with negating stereotypes and changing teaching techniques around STEM coursework. It’s also clear that collaboration is key to making a real difference for girls and women.
The STEMtech conference reaches out to educators and innovators who want to encourage students to pursue STEM fields and improve on-campus information technology for students. AAUW’s presence at this conference was another way to demonstrate our commitment to STEM. All the conference sessions featured a successful practice, program, or key issue with a strong focus on STEM in general education and workforce training or the use of technology across an institution.
I collaborated with Tara Ebersole, who is a professor of biology at the Community College of Baltimore County in Catonsville, Maryland. We presented an example of a coordinated STEM framework that defined steps for change. NSF-funded collaborations have yielded successful STEM models using assessment and hands-on experiences as demonstrated in the collaboration between NGCP and AAUW. Over 85 people attended the workshop — a huge success! All of the presentations can be accessed online. (For my presentation with Ebersole, look under 2:15 p.m. on Monday, November 1.)
AAUW was represented at the conference by Senior Researcher Andresse St. Rose, who gave a keynote address. St. Rose spoke on Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. This NSF-funded report from AAUW highlights important findings about social and environmental factors that act as barriers to women’s full participation in STEM fields. A live broadcast of St. Rose’s presentation can also be accessed online (look under 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 2). The next STEMtech conference will be held October 2–5, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. I hope to see you there!
This post was written by AAUW NGCP Liaison Jennifer McDaniel.