This month, SmartBlog on Education shines a light on reader trends, content roundups and expert forecasts for 2016. STEM education expert Aaron Smith offers a roundup of organizations working to bridge the minority and gender gaps in STEM.
STEM has never been as important as it is right now. It is a unique entity, where everyone agrees it plays a vital role in our nation’s success. Sadly, even though we all know the importance of STEM — from its significance in education to product development — there are still major shortfalls.
Disparities in the numbers of minorities and women in STEM is one such area, well established in research. But there are some phenomenal organizations supporting women and minorities in STEM. I recently took the time to compile a list of some of these organizations so that we all can have a better understanding of what they can do for our current and future STEM workforce.
Here, I’ve identified 10 organizations that show great promise. I’m sure that there are more great associations and rest assured, I’ll follow up in a future article and discuss them. Please share information about some of your favorite groups in the comments.
- The Connectory | Center for STEM Education for Girls
- Women in Technology
- Tech Girls Movement
- American Indian Institute for Innovation
- Million Women Mentors
- STEM Women | Supporting the Careers of Working Women
- National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering
- Association for Women in Science
- Women Who Code
Knowing that there are groups across the nation — much less the world — working to bring hope to others who otherwise may not have it, is cause for celebration. Diversity in STEM is not only a talking point, but something that is in motion. A more diverse STEM workforce will not only enrich the lives of those who are in these careers, but also motivate others who look up to them in the years to come.
It is my hope that this passion continues to move forward as I challenge each and every one of you reading this article to reach out — whether it is to an organization like one of the above or to someone in the cubicle next to you — and foster a relationship that will pay dividends for generations.
Aaron Smith is the program director at Aviation Academy, located in Newport News, Va. He is the author of Awakening Your STEM School and has been recognized for his work in Dropout Prevention and STEM. More information on him can be found at http://stemschooldr.com
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