STEM Education and STEM Education Research

Carolyn Hushman, Antoinette Abeyta**, Tim Schroeder

New Mexico is continuously ranked amongst the lowest states in terms of education quality, where the burden of impact disproportionately lies on Native Americans, English Learners, students with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged students. These inequities in the K-12 setting impact students as they pursue post-secondary STEM opportunities. For example, Hispanic and/or low-income students have significantly lower retention, persistence, and graduation rates than their peers.

Having a generation of STEM confident individuals is critical as a STEM-empowered citizen will also be able to make informed decisions that can collectively impact other grand challenges in NM and beyond, including managing impacts from climate change, ensuring equitable health access, and more. Improving STEM education and STEM success would greatly enhance the quality of life in New Mexico. Now is the right time to evaluate STEM education with these two questions:

  • What would it take to empower all New Mexicans to enact their scientific agency to have a voice in how their community addresses these issues?
  • What framework is needed for all to experience a sequence of STEM learning from preK-graduate/professional education that embraces New Mexico’s diverse citizens and ensures all people feel included, connected, supported, represented, and confident in their ability to value STEM as a pursuit of service to others?
In order to bridge the proposed ideas into the community real-life setting, the current proposal will include a diverse and complementary team of scientists, economists, statisticians, and policy makers.