Scientist Spotlight

scientistspotlights.org

The Scientist Spotlights Initiative:

Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in Science through Development, Assessment, and Dissemination of Curriculum Supplements that Bring Science Role Models to Students

Overview

San Francisco State University (SFSU) and Foothill Community College – in strong collaboration with the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), the California Academy of Sciences, Story Collider, and Science Friday – propose The Scientist Spotlights Initiative: Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in Science through Development, Assessment, and Dissemination of Curriculum Supplements that Bring Rare Science Role Models to Students. Interest in science begins to wane in the middle school years, and a lack of access to diverse role models in science appears to be key. Research into science identity, science belonging, stereotype threat, and possible selves suggests a lack of diverse representations of scientists could impede traditionally under-represented students from persisting and succeeding in science from pre-college onward. However, bringing diverse scientists directly to classrooms is simply not possible for many teachers and not feasible as a regular part of the science curriculum. And few evidence-based curricular materials currently exist that support teachers in regularly and systematically connecting diverse role models and science careers to students and the content they teach. Yet, science instructors at all levels – middle school, high school, community college, and university – are enthusiastic about promoting inclusion in science, bringing diverse role models to classrooms, and connecting these real scientists to students’ learning experiences.