Broadening Participation in STEM

Broadening participation aims to strengthen the STEM fields and community by providing enhanced opportunities to underserved and underrepresented populations at all levels of STEM education. This spotlight marks the beginning of an ongoing strand of work that focuses on increasing involvement in STEM in several ways: 
  • supporting interest and achievement for underserved or underrepresented student populations;
  • increasing teacher diversity and voice in STEM research, development, and policy; and
  • forming strategic research and development partnerships.


Broadening Participation-Making STEM Learning Relevant and Rigorous for All Students

This brief explores factors that contribute to opportunity gaps in STEM education based on race, ethnicity, gender, ability, and socioeconomic status. It showcases the work of several DRK-12 projects and describes promising approaches for removing barriers for underrepresented groups and enhancing the STEM learning of all students.

Partnership Building as a Broadening-Participation Strategy: Helping Researchers and Developers Bridge the Gaps in STEM Education

This brief examines the continued underrepresentation of African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and women of all racial and ethnic backgrounds in STEM fields; explains the benefits of collaboration around broadening participation; and offers guidance on building partnerships as a strategy for bridging the gaps in STEM education.


Explore a collection of posters that features DRK-12 projects focused on broadening participation in STEM education research and development.


Partnerships are a key component for broadening the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM fields. They involve diverse groups of stakeholders, such as universities, industry, nonprofit organizations, schools/districts, community centers, or museums, collaborating in a variety of different ways. Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) are one stakeholder example. These include Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Hispanic Association Colleges and Universities (HACU), and Tribal Colleges and Universities. Partners such as these are uniquely positioned to provide researchers and developers with information about target populations; inform research questions; assist with culturally responsive project design, implementation, and evaluation; and aide in dissemination and outreach. The lists below provide the names and locations of MSIs, along with links to STEM-related programs within these institutions. We encourage you to research the programs at MSIs to gain a sense of the work being done within those communities, and to explore possibilities for collaboration.



The 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 STEM for All Video Showcases featured several projects focused on broadening participation. The videos below show how DRK-12 projects are attempting to make STEM more inclusive. Click the image to view the video.