STEM Equity in Informal Learning Settings: The Role of Public Libraries

December 1st, 2016 | RESEARCH

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and programming has become a priority in our nation. In the United States, the STEM pipeline is considered "leaky" as many students disengage from STEM at various points during their lives. In particular, women, Latinos, and African Americans are more likely to disengage from the STEM pipeline. American students are less likely to earn STEM postsecondary and graduate degrees compared to other nations. As careers in STEM fields are expected to increase at a faster rate than other occupations, there is growing concern about the competitive advantage of the U.S. in the global market. The purpose of this report is to examine how informal education and programming, specifically through public libraries, can provide a viable solution toward increasing STEM equity and access for historically underrepresented K-12 students.


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Team Members

Annette Shtivelband, Author, Datum Advisors
Amanda Wallander Roberts, Author, Datum Advisors
Robert Jakubowski, Author, Datum Advisors


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: AISL
Award Number: 1421427

Related URLs

Full Text
Broad Implementation: Phase 2 of the STAR Library Education Network


Access and Inclusion: Black | African American Communities | Ethnic | Racial | Hispanic | Latinx Communities | Low Socioeconomic Status | People with Disabilities | Women and Girls
Audience: Elementary School Children (6-10) | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: General STEM
Resource Type: Reference Materials | Report
Environment Type: Library Programs | Public Programs

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This material is supported by National Science Foundation award DRL-2229061, with previous support under DRL-1612739, DRL-1842633, DRL-1212803, and DRL-0638981. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations contained within are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.

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