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Enhancing Computation and Information Science Learning Opportunities for Women Leaders in STEM
Through a generous $4.9M grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, AAC&U has launched its newest STEM initiative, TIDES: Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in STEM.
TIDES Project Overview
The overall goal of this three-year initiative is to increase the learning outcomes and retention of students historically underrepresented in the computer/information sciences and related STEM disciplines. The project will pursue two specific aims:
- Develop and implement curricula that will enhance underrepresented STEM student interest, competencies and retention rates; and
- Empower STEM faculty to adopt culturally sensitive pedagogies and sustain the necessary changes in practice required for relevant and inclusive STEM teaching.
It has become critical that STEM higher education reform efforts broaden the participation of women and underrepresented minorities, who not only represent a rich source of talent, but are also the fastest growing populations in undergraduate higher education.
Recent data have identified that the most advanced mechanism for broadening the participation, retention and graduation of underrepresented groups in the STEM fields is not just significant pedagogical reform, but pedagogical reform that is culturally sensitive to the lived experiences of these populations.
Bryn Mawr College has been awarded $170,000 to fund for three years an effort to build computational modules for the physical sciences for use in major's curriculum, beginning with Physics and to be extended to Bio, Chem, and Geo via examples and applications. The team includes Liz McCormack and Mark Matlin from physics and Doug Blank from computer science. Steven Neshyba, a chemist at the University of Puget Sound, is a consultant to the project. The funding includes support for an initial retreat of Tri-Co (Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore) faculty from computer science and the sciences to help inform the project, as well as subsequent summer workshops in years 2 and 3 to share and adapt materials across the sciences. By incorporating culturally specific contexts and a self-paced blended learning approach, the project will support the success of all students in obtaining progressive skills in computation and algorithmic reasoning.
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