The U.S. Department of Education recently launched “YOU Belong in STEM,” an initiative to galvanize the broad STEM education ecosystem to implement and scale equitable and high-quality STEM education for all young people from pre-K to higher education, according to a news release.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten highlighted the initiative Oct. 12 at the STEMconnector and Million Women Mentors Summit in Washington, D.C.
“With the YOU Belong in STEM initiative, we are helping districts and schools redesign systems and learning spaces to ensure students get the well-rounded education they need,” she said. “We are also challenging narratives about who belongs in STEM learning and careers that, over generations, left out millions of girls and young women, students of color, students living in poverty, Native American and Alaska Native students, students with disabilities and other marginalized students. Every student, no matter their background or zip code, can meet and exceed their unique potential to learn and thrive in STEM education.”
YOU Belong in STEM will focus on improving student outcomes by promoting positive conditions for STEM learning and development. Research shows a direct correlation between a sense of belonging in the classroom and a student’s focus and academic content retention. Through the new initiative, the department seeks to show both teachers and students that they have a place in the STEM field and in the pathways to long-term success that STEM has to offer in a 21st century economy.
In the coming weeks, the department will provide guidance and other technical assistance to elevate STEM teaching and learning, convene STEM partners and thought leaders, elevate bright spots and evidenced-based practices that engender belonging in STEM and partner with public and private entities to expand the program’s reach.
Email STEM@ed.gov to get involved.