1774 Views
  1. Terrell Blount
  2. https://stem-ops.org/partner-bio/terrell-a-blount/
  3. STEM-OPS Podcast Lead
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Education Development Center (EDC)
  1. Eden Badertscher
  2. https://www.edc.org/staff/eden-badertscher
  3. Principal Research Scientist
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Education Development Center (EDC)
  1. Neil Schiavo
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/neil-schiavo/
  3. Project Director
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Education Development Center (EDC)
  1. Syrita Steib
  2. https://www.or-nola.org/team/syritasteib
  3. Executive Director
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Operation Restoration
  1. Jill Stockwell
  2. https://mcgraw.princeton.edu/people/jill-stockwell
  3. Director
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. STEM-OPS Alliance

NSF INCLUDES Alliance: STEM Opportunities in Prison Settings (STEM-OPS)

NSF Awards: 1931045

2022 (see original presentation & discussion)

Undergraduate, Graduate, Adult learners, Informal, All Age Groups

Supporting STEM education in prisons and broadening participation in STEM careers are tightly interconnected. People in prison are an essential population the INCLUDES network strives to engage in STEM fields. Currently, however, opportunities for STEM education in prisons are rarely available, which deprives the STEM workforce of invaluable talent and extends the pattern of marginalization experienced by underserved populations. This collective impact Alliance: STEM Opportunities in Prison Settings (STEM-OPS) asserts that: All persons impacted by the carceral system are able, and encouraged, to pursue culturally responsive and equitable high-quality STEM education and careers.The primary partners of STEM-OPS are Princeton University's Prison Teaching Initiative, From Prison Cells to PhD, Vanderbilt University, Operation Restoration, and Education Development Center. The value of education in the prison setting and throughout re-entry has repeatedly been demonstrated.  STEM-OPS works to transform access to STEM education in correctional facilities, and throughout re-entry, such that courses are accessible and rigorous, and students see themselves as successful scientists, mathematicians, computer scientists, or engineers. STEM-OPS is facilitating this by bringing together partner networks and individuals, particularly those who have been directly impacted by the carceral system, to develop solutions to these pressing challenges.  

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Discussion from the 2022 STEM For All Video Showcase (28 posts)
  • Icon for: Neil Schiavo

    Neil Schiavo

    Co-Presenter
    Project Director
    May 10, 2022 | 06:58 a.m.

    Thank you for viewing our video on our work for the STEM Opportunities in Prison Settings (STEM-OPS) NSF INCLUDES alliance! STEM-OPS is charged with developing a national network of organizations dedicated to expanding access to high-quality STEM education and careers for people impacted by incarceration. We are developing tools, resources, and research for educators, students, mentors, and employers who are interested in addressing barriers that exclude currently and formerly incarcerated people from STEM fields. Please let us know if you have questions, would like to hear more, or can share your own efforts to support people impacted by incarceration in STEM.

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Dr. Marie Mora
    Neil Schiavo
    Virginia Rhodes
    Rebecca Lewis
    Terrell Blount
  • Icon for: Francheska Figueroa

    Francheska Figueroa

    Researcher
    May 10, 2022 | 03:44 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing this video and including Dolfinette Martin's lived experience, POWERFUL! She said something that really resonated with me; about how she must do things differently in order to make the necessary changes. I applaud your work because so often we forget about the incarcerated and I am a firm believer that we ALL can change if provided the tools and guidance necessary!

     
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    Terrell Blount
    Cathryn Tuttle
  • May 10, 2022 | 05:38 p.m.

    This work is incredible and inspiring! I'm curious about what some of these tools look like and how they can be used in the prison setting and for those who are formerly incarcerated. Can you provide an specific example or description of the tools you've discussed? I'm also curious if you have any data on outcomes yet related to the effectiveness of specific types of approaches, tools, resources, etc. Thanks!

     
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    Terrell Blount
  • Icon for: Terrell Blount

    Terrell Blount

    Lead Presenter
    STEM-OPS Podcast Lead
    May 11, 2022 | 09:55 a.m.

    Hi Cathryn- We are developing tools that will address specific barriers to access to STEM education and career for people impacted by incarceration. For example, one area of focus is expanding access to high-quality STEM internship programs for currently or formerly incarcerated since these are important opportunities for learning and professional readiness. A tool that we are developing for this strand could include FAQs on starting a program at your University, access to sample discussions about previous interns’ experiences, and even content for interns coming into programs. 


    Our working groups include intended users, and, once the tools are developed and implemented by those users, we will be measuring outcomes specific to that targeted area (for example, increased numbers of STEM interns).

     
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    Allison Gonzalez
  • May 11, 2022 | 10:03 a.m.

    Remarkable, inspiring and challenging! Three words I would use to describe your project. I also want to know more about the tools and how they are used. Do you have any data on the outcomes? Thanks. 

  • Icon for: Neil Schiavo

    Neil Schiavo

    Co-Presenter
    Project Director
    May 11, 2022 | 03:32 p.m.

    Thanks Iliana- just to build from the response from Terrell (above), we are currently in the period of producing tools and resources. Once these are in the hands of a broader circle of users, we hope to have outcomes to report. We are currently working with our evaluator to clarify measures but expect to be able to report on indicators such as: number of students who are formerly or currently incarcerated placed in STEM research internships, number of people who are formerly or currently incarcerated who successfully complete a STEM mentoring program; increase in STEM lab science programs offered in prisons and students enrolled; increased access to technology and computer science education in prisons. We hope to have more to share in next year's Video Showcase

     
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    Allison Gonzalez
  • Icon for: Emily Edwards

    Emily Edwards

    Executive Director, IQUIST
    May 11, 2022 | 10:57 a.m.

    Really inspiring important work. Thank you so much! I have the same question about data on outcomes and assessment over long periods of time.

  • Icon for: Neil Schiavo

    Neil Schiavo

    Co-Presenter
    Project Director
    May 11, 2022 | 03:33 p.m.

    Hi Emily, please see our replies to Iliana and Cathyrn above. We'd be glad to respond with more if your question isn't answered. 

  • Icon for: Stephen Alkins Ph.D.

    Stephen Alkins Ph.D.

    Facilitator
    Diversity, Equity, Access, Inclusion, and Belonging Officer
    May 11, 2022 | 02:00 p.m.

    Truly necessary work within social justice and centering of a hugely marginalized group of intersectional voices in this country spans racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, familial structure, and other demographic identities. 

    I appreciated you taking us through the goals and, for me, one of your biggest products is the toolkits for organizations and companies that are looking to create opportunities.  Thus far what has been your experience with these institutions? Have they been receptive to onboarding formerly incarcerated individuals? I imagine a huge portion of that work in breaking the stigma and pre-conceived notions that people have.  Could you speak to any collaborating institutions that have created and sustained programs as a result of your work (or where you all are in this process)?

  • Icon for: Neil Schiavo

    Neil Schiavo

    Co-Presenter
    Project Director
    May 11, 2022 | 03:47 p.m.

    Stephen, this is a great topic that hits at the heart of our approach- it's worthy of more space than I'll have here. As an NSF INCLUDES alliance, those types of cross-sector partnerships are a key target for our work. We have seen a lot of interest in our work, but the barriers to success are multi-layered and complex, so intentions alone are insufficient. We have multiple efforts intended to seed conditions for change by presenting counter narratives about STEM and people impacted by incarceration (through publications, podcasts, and an annual convening). Another main strategy are topical working groups which are developing the toolkits. The working groups are basically R&D collaboratives and their membership is important- each group includes STEM-OPS core partners, reps of additional organizations and agencies, and also people who are currently or formerly incarcerated. Right now, four of these groups are launched (five soon!) and our intention is that member orgs will directly lead to the use of these products to create and sustain programs. We're not there yet. 

     
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    Stephen Alkins Ph.D.
  • Icon for: Christina Silva

    Christina Silva

    Researcher
    May 11, 2022 | 02:22 p.m.

    This project is so inspiring! I had never considered STEM education to span this population and it's so important! It reminds me a lot about my minor in Youth Justice and Advocacy. Does you work focus specifically on adults who were incarcerated or does it also include incarcerated youth? 

  • Icon for: Neil Schiavo

    Neil Schiavo

    Co-Presenter
    Project Director
    May 11, 2022 | 03:26 p.m.

    Thank you Christina- yes, this is a crucial group that faces additional barriers to their involvement in STEM education and fields. We have a component of our work that focuses on K-12 push out and the school-to-prison pipeline. A research study has been conducted, led by Drs. Milner and Bennett from the Race Research and Justice initiative at Vanderbilt University. Here is a link to a published study: https://www.tcrecord.org/LIBRARY/abstract.asp?c...

  • Icon for: Kenne Dibner

    Kenne Dibner

    Facilitator
    Senior Program Officer
    May 11, 2022 | 10:48 p.m.

    This work is really exciting, and overdue. I'm wondering if you might speak to how you've gone about navigating partnerships and onboarding new partners in this work. I would imagine there are a lot of sensitivities and misconceptions, and I'd love to know how you bring folks along toward your (very inspiring!) goals.

  • Icon for: Mary Fedorchak

    Mary Fedorchak

    Researcher
    May 12, 2022 | 01:06 p.m.

    Hi Kenne, As you can imagine from reading these comments of support, we do have quite a bit of support while bringing in new key partners. Our core partners are doing the work every day! Additional partners are usually part of our Working Groups and also have a large amount of support for this program, many of them are directly impacted themselves. With that said, we are careful about using humanizing language and have provided this resource, written by the Underground Scholars Initiative, to help us all center our language around mutual respect and ensuring we are sensitive to all involved.  

  • Icon for: Kenne Dibner

    Kenne Dibner

    Facilitator
    Senior Program Officer
    May 12, 2022 | 02:16 p.m.

    That guide is great. It's heartening to hear you've had no trouble getting support, and I'm thrilled to see such a phenomenal resource at the front of your work. Congratulations on continuing this important work!

     
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    Neil Schiavo
  • Icon for: Chris Dede

    Chris Dede

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2022 | 06:53 a.m.

    Terrell, this is an exciting project. We are planning to develop tools and insights from our work in the National Institute for Adult Education and Online Learning that may be helpful to you.

    + Reply

     
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    Heidi Larson
    Terrell Blount
  • Icon for: Neil Schiavo

    Neil Schiavo

    Co-Presenter
    Project Director
    May 12, 2022 | 09:42 p.m.

    Thank you Chris- I viewed the video for AI-ALOE and it's exciting to see the future potential of online learning platforms. Work like AI-ALOE could definitely support stronger models of education in prisons- however, there are regulations and restrictions that currently limit access to educational technologies in many prison settings. For example, when COVID hit and many school districts and universities did the difficult work of transitioning to online courses, many prison-based programs simply paused because such platforms were not an option. And, of course, those different responses likely exacerbated existing inequities in student learning. Part of our work is to identify and address barriers like limited access to tech so that more people who are incarcerated can engage in high-quality educational opportunities. We'd love to stay connected with your work- thank you!

  • May 17, 2022 | 10:02 a.m.

    In addition, the Massachusetts Adult Education Professional Development team (a.k.a. SABES) has been focusing on providing PD for teachers in systems of incarceration that can show how effectively they can teach math and other subjects within prison walls and outside of internet access. We'd love to talk with you! 

  • Icon for: Gregory Goins

    Gregory Goins

    Facilitator
    Professor and Chair
    May 12, 2022 | 09:20 a.m.

    The insight provided to this was astounding! This is a crucial issue in which many people within society tend to overlook, so addressing the issue along with providing in depth reasoning and goals for long term change should help get the message out there. 

  • Icon for: Terrell Blount

    Terrell Blount

    Lead Presenter
    STEM-OPS Podcast Lead
    May 12, 2022 | 12:49 p.m.

    Thank you for your thoughts, Gregory. We agree this work is so important and could be pivotal in providing STEM programs to those who are directly impacted.

  • Icon for: Maisha Moses

    Maisha Moses

    Informal Educator
    May 12, 2022 | 03:44 p.m.

    This is SUCH important work.  I will keep this work in mind as we continue ours at YPP, and will think about potential connections. Thank you!  

     
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    Mary Fedorchak
  • Icon for: Neil Schiavo

    Neil Schiavo

    Co-Presenter
    Project Director
    May 12, 2022 | 09:25 p.m.

    Thank you Maisha- I was glad for your reference to the Young People's Project as your post moved me to find your video- it was excellent! We'd be interested in connections too- do you think the YPP model of CS college student instructors could be adapted for adult learners? 

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Mary Fedorchak
  • Icon for: Dr. Marie Mora

    Dr. Marie Mora

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 13, 2022 | 06:32 p.m.

    As others have already indicated, this is inspiring and important work!

  • Icon for: Eden Badertscher

    Eden Badertscher

    Co-Presenter
    Principal Research Scientist
    May 17, 2022 | 02:55 p.m.

    Thank you, Marie! It is work of the heart. 

  • May 17, 2022 | 10:04 a.m.

    I heard mention that you would be collecting input from previously incarcerated leaders. Did I miss that you'll also be collecting input from those currently incarcerated? 

  • Icon for: Eden Badertscher

    Eden Badertscher

    Co-Presenter
    Principal Research Scientist
    May 17, 2022 | 03:08 p.m.

    Heidi, there are efforts, but that is much more complicated as I am sure you can imagine, particularly now. We have a connected planning grant, that grew from the STEM-OPS findings from our affinity groups and system mapping work, that is holding focus groups with currently incarcerated men and currently incarcerated women. This is a luxury though and not the norm. Of course many of the network members also work directly with people inside prisons and the stories, experiences and voices of those inside inform their work and what they bring to STEM-OPS significantly, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. This is a structural barrier that needs torn down. 

  • Icon for: Megan Elwood Madden

    Megan Elwood Madden

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 17, 2022 | 10:15 a.m.

    Thank you for working on this! The barriers to STEM education in our prison system are significant, both structural (no internet access by design) to cultural (implicit biases, lack of opportunities). How are you addressing the more structural aspects, e.g. the limits on physical access, materials, and internet access? 

  • Icon for: Eden Badertscher

    Eden Badertscher

    Co-Presenter
    Principal Research Scientist
    May 17, 2022 | 03:21 p.m.

    Megan, these are great questions. Our system mapping and affinity group projects uncovered these and many other barriers. From these we developed 6 overarching outcome objectives (long range goals) and 14 strategy objectives (shorter range approaches, but we aren't doing all 14 at ones). If you look under community participation on our website, you can see the strategy map with these detailed, as well as get access to the system map (https://stem-ops.org/about-us-community-partici...

    In a nutshell however, working groups are the mechanism of addressing these. The working groups are developing toolkits within their focal areas to support the broader community encountering the various challenges. We are also looking for funding for particular issues. For example we have the planning grant around information and communication technology to build a model of prison as a "smart and connected community" which we hope to then pilot and disseminate. The critical element of this though, just as our strategy development was grounded in community participation, the working group toolkits are as well, to ensure they are built and revised to respond to the realities that are being faced in working to realize our vision. 

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.

Multiplex Discussion
  • Icon for: Laura Lising

    Laura Lising

    May 18, 2022 | 10:10 p.m.

    I love the multitiered approach!  I'm finishing up developing an intro physics correspondence course for Adams State University's prison program, so I'll be sure to pass on the info about this program to any future students I have!  

     
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