We are about to begin the second year of a two-year grant through the Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Career-Technical Education to train educators and administrators growing participation in STEM-related careers. Specifically, we’ll help train school staff on how to support women, minorities and other groups that are under-represented in STEM today.
Year one of the equity in STEM project:
During the first year, Reynoldsburg’s Baldwin STEM Middle Schools served as a demonstration site for best practices. Eastland-Fairfield Career Center partnered with Baldwin to identify a recipient site for trainings. For year one, the school and career center focused on computer-integrated manufacturing as the career field of interest Baldwin’s plan was to train another middle school in Central Ohio on the following topics:
- Micromessaging – Educators from Reynoldsburg and Eastland-Fairfield were trained on the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE) micromessaging strategies. Micromessaging refers to the subtle social cues that parents, teachers, and others send that influence choices like what career to choose. In turn, educators from Reynoldsburg leveraged this training as the basis for training other educators, based on their own implementation.
- Data Analysis – Educators from Reynoldsburg shared how they utilized student data to improve students’ confidence in STEM work, with emphasis on practices for mastery and acquisition of skills.
- Experience and Exposure – Promoting experiences and exposure of students in STEM fields through adult mentors and experiences in STEM-focused business and industry.
By spring 2014, Whitehall’s Rosemore Middle School teachers were identified as the recipient of teacher professional development. There were three trainings and one webinar opportunity offered to these educators. By the end of the school year, more than 35 educators from at least 10 school buildings were trained in strategies aimed at non-traditional participation in STEM-related career fields. This training series helped effectively created a new professional learning community for sharing strategies to get more girls and boys into STEM disciplines that they might not gravitate toward.
We estimate that more than 1,600 students were the beneficiaries of their teachers, guidance counselors and administrators participating as part of the equity in STEM project in just the first year.
During the second year of the project, we’ll continue to reach out to Reynoldsburg and Whitehall educators in their efforts and broaden the impact. We’re looking for an additional demonstration site and at least one additional recipient site. Partnering with the second demonstration site, we hope to accelerate the interest and opportunities for educators to learn how to engage students earlier and get them interested in nontraditional STEM-focused career pathways and disciplines. If this sounds like something your school might be interested in, let us know by filling out this form.