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What We’re Reading: Realizing STEM Equity and Diversity through Higher Education-Community Engagement

The new National Science Foundation-Supported White Paper “Realizing STEM Equity and Diversity through Higher Education-Community Engagement” (January 2015) is what we’re reading.

The purpose of this white paper is to present a promising approach to advancing equity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through higher education-community engagement. This paper will advance both the understanding and practice in the field by presenting key findings and recommendations for effective higher education-community engagement in STEM.

This paper is the product of a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to the University of Pennsylvania, which supported an international workshop on the role of institutions of higher education in fostering P-20+ community engagement through knowledge production, human capacity building (including broadening participation and the integration of research and education), innovation, and social cohesion. This white paper summarizes the learning and knowledge generated through the international workshop held in the U.S., as well as a second international meeting held in South Africa.

Authored by Ira Harkavy, Nancy Cantor and Myra Burnett, this paper concludes with a series of recommendations, derived from the two international workshops, which have powerful implications for significantly enhancing STEM equity, driving broader participation and producing better science. Moreover, the findings in this white paper demonstrate the value of learning and collaboration on a global basis for reducing inequalities in STEM in communities throughout the world.

A PDF of the white paper can be found here.

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