Academic Collaborative Efforts to Promote STEM Equity in High Needs Schools

Nancy K. DeJarnette, Ruba S. Deeb, Jani Pallis


America is at risk of facing a shortage of workers in STEM fields in the near future because lack of interest by its youth. It is well known that providing early exposure for P-12 students to engaging science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) experiences can lead to lifelong learning and positively impact future career decisions. This manuscript describes one university’s collective efforts to bring equity to STEM education for an urban high needs school district in the northeastern part of the United States through various STEM initiatives over a five-year period. Through multiple projects and initiatives targeting both P-12 students and their teachers, descriptive results revealed a positive impact while pinpointing areas that still require attention. P-12 students indicated an increase in STEM knowledge and an increased interest in STEM careers following exposure to various STEM lessons and interactive experiences. P-12 teachers specified that Professional Development (PD) they received from university faculty as well as engaging in STEM experiences with their students enhanced their confidence in their ability to incorporate STEM lessons within their classrooms. An urban partner administrator viewed these various STEM initiatives as vital in their quest to bring equity for STEM education to their diverse student population.

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Copyright (c) 2021 Nancy K. DeJarnette, Ruba S. Deeb, Jani Pallis

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