TAME Educator Workshops
Hidden in Plain Sight: Discovering STEM Potential
To generate an understanding for the need to challenge STEM stereotypes and develop soft skills in STEM students, TAME created a unique program with original subject matter called “Hidden in Plain Sight: Discovering STEM Potential”. This workshop makes the connection between the need for breaking stereotypes and how that creates inclusion for underrepresented groups.
So, how do we create opportunity for underrepresented non-stereotypical STEM students? By looking past the most accepted rubrics of gender, ethnicity, and proficiency in math and science, to open a space for other qualifiers such as creativity, curiosity, and complex reasoning. When students are sorted solely by their most visible natural talents, we are only scratching the surface of their actual potential.
Why are the workshops needed?
In order to create the STEM workforce that’s needed to face the demands of an ever-changing STEM landscape, it’s imperative to look for untapped STEM potential in a more diverse group of people in overlooked populations.
By increasing the number of non-stereotypical students who are encouraged to explore STEM careers, we have the opportunity to significantly impact the diversity of the STEM workforce. When teachers look past stereotypical STEM rubrics and see potential in non-stereotypical students, more students who are underrepresented in STEM fields will be invited to explore STEM learning. This creates opportunity for more minorities, women, and economically disadvantaged students to discover their own STEM potential and enter the STEM workforce, and builds the multi-faceted, well-rounded STEM workforce that the future needs.
How have I not heard about this?
Anonymous STEM educator, Rio Grande Valley, TX
*Referring to the research data presented in the workshop.
What happens at the workshops?
The workshops use an interdisciplinary approach to provide educators with tools to recognize and then nurture non-stereotypical STEM students. The workshop also equips educators with methods to create a classroom atmosphere which encourages these students to explore and become engaged in STEM learning.
The workshop includes:
- An experiential small-group learning activity that includes an Engineering Design
- Challenge — with a twist to highlight the need for soft skills
- Research-based classroom management, student engagement, and instructional tools that teachers can take into their classrooms and schools to encourage non-stereotypical students to engage in STEM, including: the use of anthropological principles to engage female and minority students; ways to establish clear ground rules for constructive group interactions; how to use inclusive language when discussing STEM so as not to alienate non-STEM students; how to construct a classroom environment which addresses the fear of not knowing the correct answer; and more
- A short, reflective writing exercise to explore personal experience, followed by breakout sessions
- Dynamic large group discussions
- An engaging, interactive, research-based presentation
It really made me think about how some of my kids might feel in different situations and how I might structure my classroom/lessons to create a “safer” learning environment.
Dawn R., Middle school STEM teacher, Fort Stockton, TX