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Diverse and Integrative STEM Continua Using Socio-environmental Systems In and Out of Neighborhoods

Winner of a 2017 Google igniteCS Award

View our DISCUSSSION Project 3-min video at  http://videohall.com/p/828


What and Who: A driver for social innovation that positively impacts broadening participation in STEM

  • A collaboration between two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) representing a networked improvement community located within the Piedmont Region of North Carolina.


  • In close partnership with community colleges and civic organizations, the project will reach families and students that lead to broader participation of underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Overall Goals:

  • Build and sustain a scalable, inquiry-based network with the purpose of increasing the academic success of underrepresented ethnic minorities and women in the STEM continuum.
  • Positively impact student retention, knowledge, and quantitative skills in STEM across socio-economic divides and STEM disciplines.


  • Engage in culturally relevant socio-environmental frameworks
  • Focus on evidence-based teaching and learning approaches for middle and high school students
  • Serve as a platform to launch and guide other age- and level-specific educational instruction, research, and assessment initiatives.
  • Enhance student conceptual understanding of the nature of science will be by adapting structure, behavior, and function (SBF) theory and system thinking hierarchical (STH) models.

Sponsored by NSF Award Numbers 1649255 and 1649263