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K-State Today

April 5, 2021

Responding to community needs around STEM access: A call for action

Submitted by Michi Tobler

A group of K-State scientists, along with others in the community, is exploring community needs around STEM access.

Over the past months, we have invested in listening to various stakeholders and community leaders across the state of Kansas. The conversations were focused on better understanding their realities and needs as well as that of the people they serve. We also aimed to gain insight about their aspirations around STEM and barriers to STEM access. Our goal was to explore how we, as a community of scientists and educators, can earn their trust and form lasting relationships that will work towards achieving those aspirations and creating relevant access to STEM opportunities. While we also want to foster a greater appreciation of and enthusiasm for science, it is important that we remain open to the many ways they already engage with STEM, STEAM and science.

In the process, we have learned that there are real, expressed needs around STEM access in diverse communities across Kansas, ranging from K-12 programs to senior centers. Listening will be an ongoing part of our practice, and for now we are ready to share these valuable insights with you all. We want to bring our community of scientists and educators together to respond to these needs with intention.

If your aim is in engaging with learners of all ages and community groups across Kansas, join us for a discussion about how we can take action together. We are looking for the collaboration of all members of our community that identify with this call, including undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and faculty.

We propose three potential meeting times:

  • Monday, April 12, 3-5 p.m.
  • Friday, April 16, 9-11 a.m.
  • Friday, April 16, 2-4 p.m.

Please provide us with your contact information and preferred time by filling out a brief survey by Wednesday, April 7. We will share the meeting time that works for most along with the Zoom information by Friday, April 9.

Contact Michi Tobler, professor of biology, at tobler@k-state.edu for more information. 

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