Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES)

The grand challenge of broadening participation in STEM is to transform the overall ecosystem at all levels in order to fully engage the nation’s talent for the ultimate improvement of the nation’s STEM capacity. Viewing this challenge as a social innovation problem, the objective is to develop networks that involve organizations and consortia from different sectors that are committed to a common agenda to solve the STEM inclusion problem at scale. (NSF 16-081)

The specific goal of this project, in collaboration with the Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) was to provide a one-day working conference for brainstorming and prioritizing ideas, strategies, and actions that could be aggressively pursued by the INCLUDES initiative

  • to consider potential scalable, high-impact innovations in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education to assure success for all people across the nation
  • to generate ideas, strategies, and actions that will alter the current landscape and potentially achieve a transformative change for inclusion.

Participants were selected for their expertise on approaches to broadening participation in a range of settings, including universities, K–12 STEM education, and informal science learning environments. The invitation list was developed in consultation with multiple directorates of the (U.S.) National Science Foundation (NSF).

INCLUDES: Achieving Scale for Inclusion in STEM. A Director’s Workshop. Synthesis report, 2015.

ASTC and CAISE subsequently convened a group of informal science education specialists to curate a set of resources around Broadening Participation (BP) for use in informal science education settings. The resources primarily focus on previously funded NSF projects in BP, increasing their availability and relevance to the informal science community. They are housed on the informalscience.org website.