Addressing Inequity through the ITEST Program
The Black Lives Matter movement has ignited renewed calls for equality and has caused individuals, institutions, and organizations to turn inward and reflect on their role in a system built on racism and oppression. As these conversations continue, they highlight how deeply racism runs through every facet of life; justice, poverty, health, and of course education. As education researchers, the ITEST community is well-situated to study these issues, to explore ways of making learning more equitable, and to make recommendations to the larger field.
Historically, the ITEST program has always had a strong focus on equity in education. The 2004 solicitation states the goal of ITEST-funded programming is "to provide middle- and high-school students, particularly those from disadvantaged urban and rural communities, access to year-round IT enrichment experiences and opportunities to explore related education and career paths." Fifteen years later, as the program's focus has expanded from IT to all STEM careers, issues of equity and efforts to broadening participation in STEM have remained at the forefront. The 2019 solicitation includes a specific section (Additional Soclicitation Specific Review Criteria) emphasizing the questions that proposers must address regarding their participation efforts. For more on this, be sure to read the guidance provided by Brianna Roche in her blog post "Leveraging Student's Strengths in STEM: Tips for Proposal Writers."
In the spirit of inspiring the next round of equity-focused STEM education research projects, STELAR would like to highlight a selection of current and past ITEST projects, resources, and publications that focus on students of color and specifically African American youth.
Photo courtesy of ITEST PI Phillip Eaglin, Developing Digital Makers in the Coding Makerspace to Include Boys of Color in Computer Science Learning and Cybersecurity Workforce Development Project