Dr. Edna Tan (Teacher Education and Higher Education) received new funding from the Trustees of Boston University for the project “Developing a Network to Coordinate Research on Equity Practices and Cultures in STEM Maker Education.”
The RCN: Developing a Network to Coordinate Research on Equity Practices and Cultures in STEM Maker Education is a four year Advancing Informal Science Learning (AISL) project that will bring together scholars and practitioners working at the intersection of equity and interdisciplinary making education in STEM. The researchers’ driving purpose is to collectively broaden STEM participation in the United States through pursuing common research questions, sharing resources, and incubating emergent inquiry and knowledge across multiple working sites of practice.
The network aims to build capacity for research and knowledge building in consequential and far-reaching ways by leveraging combined efforts of a core group of scholars, practitioners, and an extended network of formal and informal education partners in urban and rural sites serving groups underrepresented in STEM. Making learning spaces can be particularly fruitful spaces for STEM learning toward equity because they foster what we call critical creative inquiry: interest-driven, collective, and community-oriented learning in making for social and community change. Equitable processes are rooted in a commitment to understand and build on the skills, practices, values, and brilliance of communities marginalized in STEM; providing opportunities for high quality life-long learning across multiple spaces; and actively working to position learners as knowledgeable and creative individuals already situated in intellectually and culturally rich communities.
The Network will be led by a multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary PI team of researchers from different geographic regions of the United States.