The National Science Foundation (NSF) has issued 27 new awards through its NSF INCLUDES program, aimed at enhancing U.S. leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) discoveries and innovations through a commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Today, U.S industries, universities and research centers face 21st-century challenges. They need skilled STEM workers to grow the economy, secure the national defense and advance other national priorities. NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) is designed to create paths to STEM for underrepresented populations, expanding the nation's leadership and talent pools. Like other programs in NSF's Broadening Participation portfolio, NSF INCLUDES seeks to improve the U.S. STEM enterprise by leveraging the benefits of diversity.
NSF INCLUDES is one of NSF's "10 Big Ideas for Future NSF Investments," a set of research agendas that identify areas for future investment at the frontiers of science and engineering.
The 27 new Design and Development Launch Pilots, funded through two-year, $300,000 grants, will develop blueprints for collaborative change among a set of public-private partners in order to address broadening participation challenges. A key feature of NSF INCLUDES is its focus on uniting a wide variety of collaborators to generate pioneering solutions to persistent problems. These pilot projects will create an infrastructure that enables large-scale coordination, fueling future innovations in broadening STEM participation.
"Broadening participation in STEM is necessary for the United States to retain its position as the world's preeminent source of scientific innovation," said NSF Director France Córdova. "The National Science Foundation has a long history of working to address difficult challenges by creating the space for innovative solutions. NSF INCLUDES breaks new ground by providing a sustained commitment to collaborative change with the goal of bringing STEM opportunities to more people and communities across the country."
NSF INCLUDES will invest in alliances that scale these efforts to broaden STEM participation among underrepresented groups, including women, persons with disabilities, African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Native Pacific Islanders, people from rural areas and those facing socioeconomic challenges. Multi-year NSF INCLUDES alliances will engage partners from private and corporate philanthropy, industry, non-profits, higher education, K-12 school systems, federal agencies and scientific professional societies, and any other organizations with an interest in and passion for STEM.
The NSF INCLUDES approach builds on a growing body of scientific research suggesting that complex problems are best addressed through collective impact or networked communities focused on finding solutions through common goals and shared resources. This strategy marks a shift from successful efforts that have been locally focused toward activities that will have an impact on a national scale as institutions, professional societies and the scientific community cooperate and share information and effective strategies.
The 2017 project titles, recipient institutions and principal investigators are listed below:
- Water Network for Team STEM (WaNTS), Ming Wei Koh, Pacific Resources for Education and Learning
- Aligning for Impact: Computer Science Pathways Across Contexts, Caitlin Dooley, Georgia Department of Education
- Growing STEM engagement and participation in Native Pacific Islander communities, John Peterson, University of Guam
- Southeastern Compact for Inclusive Student Transitions in Engineering and Physical Sciences (SCI-STEPS), Keivan Stassun, Vanderbilt University
- BEST BET: Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training - Beginning Enhancement Track, Linda Hyman, Boston University
- Diversifying Access to Urban Universities for Students in STEM Fields, Alison Slinskey Legg, University of Pittsburgh
- Sustainability Teams Empower and Amplify Membership in STEM (S-TEAMS), Amy Tuininga, Montclair State University
- Building on Strengths: A Design and Development Launch Pilot to Broaden Participation in Mathematics, Michael Young, Iowa State University
- The Alabama Alliance for an Inclusive Middle Grades Computer Science Preparation through Makerspaces in the Alabama Black Belt Region, Shaik Jeelani, Tuskegee University
- IM STEM, Mimi Lufkin, National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity Educational Foundation
- Indigenous Math Circles Communities, David Auckly, Kansas State University
- Education for Minorities to Effectively Raise Graduation and Employment in STEM (EMERGE in STEM), Gregory Monty, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
- Scholars from Under-Represented Groups in Engineering and the Social Sciences: Minority SURGE Capacity in Disasters, DeeDee Bennett, University of Nebraska Omaha
- American Indian Traditional Science Experience, Aaron Thomas, University of Montana
- Leadership and iSTEAM for Females in Elementary school (LiFE): An Integrated Approach to Increase the Number of Women Pursuing Careers in STEM, Bruce Bukiet, New Jersey Institute of Technology
- Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships (AMP): Broadening Participation in New Hampshire's Workforce, Palligarnai Vasudevan, University of New Hampshire
- Statewide Consortium: Supporting Underrepresented Populations in Precalculus by Organizational Redesign toward Engineering Diversity (SC:SUPPORTED), Anand Gramopadhye, Clemson University
- Diversifying Future Leadership in the Professoriate in Computing at Research Universities, Valerie Taylor, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station
- Increasing Minority Presence within Academia through Continuous Training (IMPACT), Comas Haynes, Georgia Tech Applied Research Corporation
- Ecology Plus: Broadening Pathways to Ecological Careers through a Collective Impact Approach, Teresa Mourad, Ecological Society of America
- Expanding Diversity in Energy and Environmental Sustainability, Aristides Marcano, Delaware State University
- Wabanaki Youth in Science (WaYS) Program to Bridge inclusion in Post-Secondary Education Through the Sciences, Darren Ranco, University of Maine
- Building a Network for Education and Employment in Environmental Stewardship of Indigenous Lands, Timberley Roane, University of Colorado Denver
- Supporting Pacific Indigenous Computing Excellence (SPICE), Kelly Gaither, University of Texas at Austin
- Engineers from Day One: Fostering Identity to Promote Entry and Persistence in Engineering for First Generation Students, Kyle Squires, Arizona State University
- Sustaining STEM Workforce Diversity in Emerging Regional Technology Hubs, David Shintani, University of Nevada, Reno
- American STEM Alliance Network Improvement Community, Melissa Dodson, American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences