STEM Education Summit: Building a Coalition for Attracting and Retaining a Diverse STEM Teaching Workforce | New Orleans, LA

STEM Education Summit: Building a Coalition for Attracting and Retaining a Diverse STEM Teaching Workforce | New Orleans, LA

The Smithsonian Science Education Center in collaboration with Shell Oil Company will host a Summit in New Orleans, LA on March 6-8, 2020 to engage leadership teams from districts throughout the US who have identified problems of practice related to attracting and retaining a diverse STEM teaching workforce. This Summit will be a highly interactive 2.5 days, with a clear outcome at the end – developing district-specific “action plans” for recruiting and retaining minority STEM teachers to leadership roles while remaining in the classroom.

Team Application Process

The deadline to apply is Sunday, December 1. Applications are scored based on the following categories:

  1. Team Composition: Teams can be as small as three and as large as five members. Each team must include at least one practicing classroom teacher.
  2. Clarity of Idea: Extent to which the submission clearly states the proposed idea for attracting or retaining STEM teachers from diverse backgrounds.
  3. Range of Impact: The potential impact in and beyond the classroom, school, or district on the attraction or retention of STEM teachers. 
  4. Populations Served: The extent to which teachers from traditionally underrepresented populations may be served by the proposed idea.

Teams will be notified of their selection no later than Tuesday, December 31, 2019, and invited to attend the Summit in New Orleans, LA. Teams who are selected to participate will receive round-trip airfare to New Orleans, lodging, and meals served at the summit paid by Shell Oil Company and arranged by the Smithsonian Science Education Center.

Mentor Application Process

Mentors are critical to the success of the summit and the work to follow. They should be knowledgeable about STEM, education, and equity. If accepted, a mentor is paired with a team and commits to working with that group leading up to and during the summit as well as providing ongoing support thereafter.

Prospective mentors may apply here before Sunday, December 1.

About the Initiative

This STEM Education Summit is only one component of a larger initiative that began in 2015 when the Smithsonian Science Education Center in partnership with Shell Oil Company convened a group of education organizations from around the nation to share and discuss proven strategies that have improved the recruitment, retention and engagement of educators from diverse backgrounds. From this meeting, a Steering Committee was formed and areas of potential work emerged: develop a playbook for district-level systems change; implement district-level systems change; and advance teacher leadership development.

Our ultimate goal for all of the work comprising this Initiative is to diversify the STEM teaching workforce and improve leadership opportunities for diverse STEM teachers through district systems change. We are working to achieve this goal and supporting like-minded individuals to do the same.

About the Playbook

Cover for the playbook "Fostering Change: Ideas and Best Practices for Diversity in STEM Teaching in K-12 Classrooms"This publication addresses the second area of work identified by our steering committee: developing a playbook for district-level systems change. The playbook below captures some of the best practices for creating systems level change at the district level that have been proven successful in increasing the recruitment, retention and promotion of a diverse STEM teaching workforce.