Exemplary Practices: Access and Equity

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It is critical to provide every girl high-quality STEM opportunities, regardless of race, ethnicity, geography, income level, and disability status. The following resources include research and projects that share exemplary practices for engaging and serving girls who are often most underrepresented in STEM. 

Set a Place at the STEM Table for Youth with Disabilities and their Families
In this case study, Dr. Linda Kekelis shares how STEM can empower and the programs, such as Deaf Kids Code, that are engaging youth and their families to make STEM learning opportunities accessible and successful.

AISES Literature Review: STEM Education for Native American Students
Produced by: The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) with an Education Core Research Grant from the National Science Foundation. AISES seeks to learn from the literature, particularly that of Indigenous scholars, to improve the development and implementation of its K-12, STEM education programming. Incorporating the evidence-based strategies detailed in this literature review will position AISES to have an even more meaningful and impactful presence in the field of STEM education for Native students and learners.

Access Needs: Centering Students and Disrupting Ableist Norms in STEM (2021)
“What do you need to do your best work?” This essay describes the concept of access needs as a tool for improving accessibility in STEM education. They argue that normalizing access talk is an important step for advancing disability justice in STEM fields, and they provide concrete suggestions and techniques that STEM educators can use today.

Black Girls Create: Developing a Culturally Responsive Maker Program for Black Girls (2021)
This article describes the development and pilot implementation of a culturally responsive maker afterschool program for Black girls. By the end of the program, girls had used their new maker skills to design and create cultural artifacts and conduct digital fabrication demonstrations. This article highlights the program design, pilot program outcomes, and successes and challenges associated with the pilot implementation.

Intersectionality in Tech 101 (2021)
Intersectionality is a critical and necessary concept to develop effective programs to broaden the participation of women and girls in computing. This resource, developed by NCWIT, provides a background and overview of the concept, in addition to key readings and resources related to women and girls of color in STEM and computing.

Pew Research: STEM Jobs See Uneven Progress in Increasing Gender, Racial and Ethnic Diversity (2021)
This Pew Research report highlights the statistics of women underrepresented in math, physical sciences, computing, and engineering, underscoring that women make up a quarter or fewer of workers in computing and engineering, while women make up the large majority of all workers in health-related jobs.

Addressing Core Equity Issues in K-12 Computer Science Education (2020)
This report from the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), the Anita Borg Institute, and the University of Arizona focuses on the critical absence of women and underrepresented minority students from computing at the K-12 level.

Beyond Equity as Inclusion: A Framework of “Rightful Presence” for Guiding Justice-Oriented Studies in Teaching and Learning (2020)
This essay presents a rightful presence framework to guide the study of teaching and learning in justice-oriented ways. Rightful presence orients the field towards the importance of political struggles to make present the lives of those made missing by schooling and discipline-specific norms.

Science Communication Demands a Critical Approach That Centers Inclusion, Equity, and Intersectionality (2020)
This paper aims to define inclusive science communication and clarify and amplify the field. They present inclusive science communication as one path forward to redress the systemic problems of inequitable access to and engagement with STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine).

High School/High Tech Program Guide: A Comprehensive Transition Program Promoting Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics for Youth with Disabilities (2016)
Developed by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, this comprehensive program of transition services utilizes an array of activities identified in the Guideposts for Success to expose youth with disabilities to careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and encourage them to pursue post-secondary education to prepare for such careers.

Stemming on STEM: A STEM Education Framework for Students with Disabilities (2016)
In this paper, the authors discuss issues related to STEM and students with disabilities. These issues include (1) traditional views of STEM education, (2) the importance of STEM education, and (3) students with disabilities' performance in STEM. The authors posit a framework for STEM education for students with disabilities and promote the incorporation of the arts to increase students' STEM knowledge and achievement.

AccessSTEM Critical Junctures (2011)
The Alliance for Students with Disabilities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (AccessSTEM) has identified critical junctures on the pathway to STEM careers for youth with disabilities and project inputs that can support youth in reaching these junctures. AccessSTEM also provides guidance for educators, parents, and other advocates to help students reach these critical junctures.

Project Exploration's Sisters4Science: Involving Urban Girls of Color in Science Out of School (2010)
This article, published in Afterschool Matters, describes Sisters4Science, an afterschool program for middle and high school urban girls of color. Sisters4Science is designed to get girls interested in science, keep girls interested in science, and equip girls with skills and experiences that enable them to pursue science.

Engaging Latino Youth in Community-Based Programs: Findings from the first ten years of the Oregon 4-H Latino Outreach Project (2009)
Report published by Oregon State University Extension Service highlighting effective strategies for engaging Latino Youth in Community-Based Programs.

NGCP Webinars

The following webinars present exemplary practices, program models, and resources for engaging underrepresented girls in STEM. The webinars are archived and can be accessed at any time and the accompanying slides are also available for download.

Families & STEAM Strengthening Relationships & Building Partnerships (April 2022)
In this webinar recording, presenters explore ways to work with families to create equitable and accessible STEAM learning for youth.

TECHNOLOchicas: Transforming the T in STEM (October 2021)
In this webinar recording, TECHNOLOchicas staff showcase opportunities and resources to support and enhance STEM education for Hispanic and Latina women and girls.

Addressing STEM Stereotypes and Biases: Facilitating Challenging Conversations with Youth (September 2021)
In this webinar recording, speakers share strategies and resources for addressing and discussing STEM stereotypes and biases with youth.

Celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day (May 2021)
In this webinar recording, speakers provide resources and ideas for making your programming more accessible and for increasing awareness about the importance of accessibility.

Neurodiversity and STEM Education (September 2020)
In this webinar recording, presenters discuss neurodiversity and best practices for engaging neurodiverse learners in STEM programming.

Equity in STEM Education: The Connection to Culture (May 2020)
In this webinar recording, learn about research-based best practices on cultural responsiveness — a powerful approach that spans the cultural divide that often exists between educators and students and allows educators to improve STEM engagement and equity.

Increasing Equity and Diversity in the STEM Workforce: Issues and Strategies (September 2013)
In this webinar, participants will gain a better understanding of the issues that impede efforts to diversify the STEM workforce and learn strategies that can promote equity, fairness, and diversity in their programs and professional interactions as role models.

Engaging Underserved Youth: Strategies for Family Involvement (February 2012)
This webinar highlights current research and practical examples of family engagement from Washington MESA's Acceso a la Ciencia (Access to Science) project, working with Latino communities in rural eastern Washington.

Additional Webinars

The Color of Our Future: An Online Conversation Series on the Empowerment and Inclusion of Black Women & Girls in Tech (March 2021)
The series explores Black girls in K-12, Black women in postsecondary computing education, and Black women in the tech workforce. Each online discussion features a panel of experts who explore the advancement and inclusion of Black women and girls across the tech ecosystem.

Making Programs More Inclusive and Accessible for Youth with Disabilities (October 2012)
This webinar, presented by the Computer Science Collaboration Project (CSCP), details universal design, and how to make education products and environments usable to all people.

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