Innovative STEM DIVE Video Series Showcases Creative Broadening Participation Strategies Across the Country

By NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub posted 10-06-2020 10:49 AM


By Dr. Simone Soso, NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub, QEM

Five entries in this year’s National Science Foundation’s STEM Diversity and Inclusion Video Exhibition Challenge (STEM DIVE) took top honors for their videos showcasing innovative, effective, and replicable approaches to building a diverse and inclusive STEM workforce. From Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) students in Indiana designing a graphic novel of their research to a high school curriculum introducing circuitry and computer science through crafting, the STEM DIVE videos highlight exciting efforts taking place around the country to make STEM engaging and accessible to diverse audiences, tapping into the enormous potential of students traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields.

On September 22, 2020, the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub hosted STEM DIVE’s first ever virtual awards ceremony which you can view here. NSF’s STEM DIVE uses the power of video to illustrate how forging partnerships, networks, or alliances contribute to more diversity and inclusion in STEM preK-12 studies, higher education, and informal science education. The videos can be used on various platforms to raise awareness of the importance of broadening participation in STEM and share a broad range of creative approaches to achieving a more inclusive STEM workforce.

The first two rounds of the competition were judged by NSF staff, program directors, fellows, and science assistants. The top 12 videos from the first two rounds were then evaluated by an outside panel of judges, with the winners receiving an Experts’ Choice award. The top videos were also presented to the public, with the most popular videos receiving a People’s Choice award. 

The final round of judging was performed by a distinguished external panel: Dr. Christopher Williams, science expert for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture; Mark Miano, senior editorial and creative director, head of production for Discovery Education; Dr. Ingrid Colón, education research program manager for Unidos US; Jorge Valdes, education program advisor for the US Patent and Trademark Office; and Dr. Felecia McClary, senior program manager for Amazon. Experts’ Choice awards were given for the most compelling videos in four categories: informal STEM education, PreK-12 STEM education, STEM higher education, and STEM alliances. Two People’s Choice awards were given to videos selected by the public.

See all five of the Experts’ Choice and People’s Choice award-winning videos:

STEM Alliances
Scientific Journal or Graphic Novel?  A Student-Production Featuring LSAMP Research
Team Lead:
Patricia L. Lang
Institution: Ball State University
LSAMP students collaborate with graphic design students to present their scientific research through a creative journal, taking a playful approach that uses illustration, story, and even superheroes to communicate complex concepts.


Informal STEM Education
Emerging Leaders Cohorts: An Affinity-Based Model for BIPOC in Environmental Education  
Team Lead: Craig Strang  
Institution: Lawrence Hall of Science 
Emerging leaders in the field of environmental education speak movingly about the value of their experience at the Beetles Leadership Institute, which provides BIPOC environmental educators with a unique learning and sharing space, as well as leadership tools and skills, and connects them across a nationwide network.

PreK-12 STEM Education
Stitching the Loop: Electronic Textiles for Broadening Participation in CS  STEM  
Team Leads: Yasmin Kafai, Joanna Goode, Deborah Fields, and Jane Margolis
Institutions: University of Pennsylvania, University of Oregon, Utah State University and University of California, Los Angeles
Connecting crafting, computing, and engineering, this video highlights how an electronic textiles unit explores computer science by using student-driven handcrafts to teach problem-solving and procedures, and how the program has engaged students who hadn’t seen themselves as the kinds of students who would pursue computer science.  

STEM Higher Education & People’s Choice #1
Advancing Student Success in STEM   
Team Lead: Sudarshan Kurwadkar
Institution: California State University, Fullerton
Hispanic-serving institution CSU Fullerton combines data visualization and video footage to creatively tell the story of how they are integrating academic interventions and socio-cultural strategies, including emotional supports and real-world experience through internships, to increase student retention, engagement, and success in STEM fields.

Peoples' Choice #2
SacramentoSTEMAlliance (SSA)  
Team Lead: Jean Crowder
Institution: SacramentoSTEMAlliance
A series of striking testimonials highlight a program building innovative bridges to STEM success in K-16 high-poverty schools. SacramentoSTEMAlliance engages high school students in college work and in teaching middle school students; in turn the middle school students mentor elementary school students in math achievement, creating long-term networks of support.

You can view the top 12 videos of the competition here and join the conversation in the National Network online community.