For decades, innovators and entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley to San Diego and from Hollywood to the Central Valley have fueled California’s dynamic growth and established our state as a global hub for innovation. To maintain the state’s position as a leading innovation-driven economy in the 21st century, California has launched multiple programs aimed at promoting STEM education and developing the STEM labor force.
The STEM Task Force is a volunteer group appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to explore the status of STEM (Science, Technology, Education, and Mathematics) education in curriculum, instructional practices, professional learning, etc. Members will recommend a blueprint on how to improve teaching, learning, and equal access to STEM-related courses and careers for students in kindergarten through grade twelve.
The National Science Foundation began supporting ADVANCE initiatives in 2001, and has awarded over $130M in funding for a variety of programs. The most significant efforts seek to create permanent institutional transformation.
Professional disciplinary groups allow members to meet, engage, and share knowledge. This effort is particularly important to foster supportive, collaborative networks among scientists from under-represented groups.
We have compiled multiple publicly available databases of the published research related to NSF ADVANCE program efforts to increase diversity in STEM education and the STEM labor force. These include the literature on implicit bias, mentorship and other topics.
Balance is real challenge facing many faculty, particularly women with children. The perception (and reality) of the inflexibility and rigor of an academic career is one cause for the lack of diversity in STEM disciplines.