1. Tiffany Wilson
  3. University of Maine
  1. Jennifer Isherwood
  3. University of Maine

NSF INCLUDES Collaborative: Creating a Diverse STEM Pathway with Community Wa...

NSF Awards: 1649346

2018 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 9-12

SMART INCLUDES empowers female and underrepresented minority (URM) students, supporting them in learning science and engineering skills and applying those skills to local water research. Our program works to advance student learning, improve the health of communities, and draw a greater diversity of bright minds to STEM fields in the United States.

The Stormwater Management Research Team -- SMART -- program began in 2013 at the University of Maine. A variety of Maine communities have implemented and adapted it successfully.

Students in the SMART Program engage in engineering design, data acquisition, analysis and visualization, chemistry, environmental science, biology, and information technology. Dedicated mentors support SMART students as they research water issues within their local watersheds, and connect students with professionals working in water and engineering in government, private firms, and non-profits.

With an NSF INCLUDES grant (award # 1649346), the Maine Team linked up with partners in the states of New York, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Idaho, and California to create the SMART INCLUDES Collaborative. These partners are not simply replicating the program in Maine, but rather are designing projects that address the specific water, demographic, and cultural needs of each location.

The long-term goal of the SMART INCLUDES Collaborative effort is to broaden the impact of the successful SMART Program model– using the topics of stormwater science and engineering solutions to engage and build confidence of female and URM students in STEM fields. Long-term success will look like a significant increase in the number of female and URM-in-STEM students who succeed throughout school and into STEM careers.

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