Initial Publication Date: March 10, 2017

Building Diverse and Integrative STEM Continua Using Socio-environmental Systems In and Out of Neighborhoods (DISCUSSION) Pilot

Project website:

Shared Vision

Project Summary

This collaboration between two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) will form 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. The overall goal is to 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. By engaging in culturally relevant socio-environmental frameworks, project outcomes will positively impact student retention, knowledge, and quantitative skills in STEM across socio-economic divides and STEM disciplines.

The Launch Pilot phase will focus on evidence-based teaching and learning approaches for middle school students. The core structure of the network will serve as a platform to launch and guide other age- and level-specific educational instruction, research, and assessment initiatives. Student understanding of the nature of science will be enhanced by adapting structure, behavior, and function (SBF) theory and system thinking hierarchical (STH) models. Ultimately, the network will represent a driver for social innovation that positively impacts broadening participation in STEM.

Project Materials

Principal Investigators

  • Gregory D Goins, North Carolina A & T
  • Caesar Jackson, North Carolina Central University