February 28, 2023
The STEM PUSH Network will host a national convening of its 43 partner precollege STEM programs at the University of Pittsburgh's O'Hara Student Center, March 6-9, 2023. "On the Equity Journey," this year's theme, will showcase research-practice connections and multiple speakers, discussions, evaluations, and events. Program leaders will present the results of their winter 2022-2023 testing of high leverage practices designed to create more equitable experiences and explore ways to measure competencies students develop that lead to increased participation in STEM programs. Featured speakers include National Science Foundation (NSF) Program Officer Alicia Santiago (virtual), Pittsburgh's "Learning Instigator" Michelle King, and Professor Aileen Reid, University of North Carolina Greensboro.
The STEM PUSH Network is the first national collaborative of pre-college STEM programs to work together for racial equity. It brings together professionals from STEM precollege programs, regional ecosystems, college admissions, and equity experts using a networked improvement community model to innovate more equitable practices in out-of-school time programming and in STEM undergraduate admissions. The network is building an evidence-based model to make the talents and competencies of minoritized students more visible in admissions practices.
Ultimately, through research and collaboration, STEM PUSH leverages the power of pre-college STEM programs and the ecosystems in which they operate to increase the number of Black, Latina/o/e, and Indigenous students admitted to and persisting in undergraduate STEM study.
According to STEM PUSH Co-PI, and Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC) Research Scientist, Jennifer Iriti, it's necessary to think about alternative approaches to evaluating students and considering their overall portfolio of competencies for college admissions. "It represents a real opportunity for pre-college STEM programs and the STEM PUSH Network to show the potential value of considering the voices of pre-college STEM program leaders and the students themselves about their experiences," Iriti said. See the article STEM PUSH Network Offering an Alternative Approach to College Admissions Process
The STEM PUSH Network is funded by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Eddie Bernice Johnson Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES) Initiative, a comprehensive national effort to enhance U.S. leadership in discoveries and innovations by focusing on diversity, inclusion and broadening participation in STEM at scale. The network is also co-funded by the NSF Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program and the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program.
The STEM PUSH Network is a project of the Broadening Equity in STEM Center (BE STEM) at the University of Pittsburgh. BE STEM was awarded $10 million from the NSF as an elite Alliance Award to conduct this work.