One hundred K-to-college educators recently virtually convened to participate in the Fostering Equity in the STEM Classroom professional development presented by the Governor’s Advisory STEM Council. The two-day workshop was facilitated by Aris Winger, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Mathematics Enrichment for Diversity and Learning (MEDAL) and co-facilitators Pamela Harris, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics at Williams College and Dwight Williams, Ph.D., postdoctoral research associate at Iowa State University.
The primary goal of the workshop was to equip participants to be more effective in supporting the success of all students across race, gender, ability and other diversity dimensions in STEM classrooms. They engaged in powerful discussions regarding the definition of equity, the impact that careful attention to equity has on students, the importance of equity in STEM, the interconnectedness of these relationships and how to implement change in the classroom.
According to Winger, “We have the power to transform the lives of our students for better or worse. It may be as innocuous as a word, a look, a laugh, a smile or a frown. It may be as overt as a snide comment or loving praise. All of these potential movements, behaviors and actions reside within our own power and intention. Each day of our lives and careers let us move in the direction of behaving and performing with love in every interaction with our students.”
The workshop included a combination of group instruction, small group breakouts and asynchronous activities. The professional development experience will culminate for participants this Fall with three follow-up webinars, followed by an assessment of the achievement of the goal.
For more information about STEM Council events and programs, please visit our website at IowaSTEM.gov.