The National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity Education Foundation (NAPE) will partner with a diverse group of organizations from six states (CO, ID, NM, NV, UT, and WY) to form the IM STEM project, an NSF INCLUDES Design and Development Launch Pilot project focused on the goal of increasing the participation and closing achievement gaps in STEM education, including career and technical education. These organizations whose programs impact the formal STEM education system will identify effective practices focused on the common set of objectives and create a model to bring them to scale by employing a collective impact approach.
This partnership contributes directly to a goal of the NSF EPSCoR program: to establish sustainable STEM education, training, and professional development pathways that advance jurisdiction-identified research areas and workforce development. The Idaho EPSCoR/Diversity Network will work with other participating organizations to create a common agenda, identify shared metrics, and implement mutually reinforcing activities. This effort addresses directly the lack of diversity of the STEM workforce; a societal challenge of significant magnitude because of its impact on innovation, national security, environmental safety, and income inequality in the U.S.
The capacity of IM STEM to bring large well-resourced organizations to bear on the broadening participation challenges in STEM will advance the knowledge of how creative social innovations, like collective impact, can create transformative institutional and cultural change. The collection, evaluation and scaling of effective research-based solutions to close equity gaps in STEM will advance inclusion in STEM.
Idaho EPSCoR/Diversity Network (IDN) was named as a partner of the newly funded Intermountain Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Project (IM STEM) which focuses on broadening participation of underrepresented populations, closing achievement gaps in STEM education and ensuring the contributions of a diverse STEM workforce.