Supporting STEM in Rural Contexts
According to the Committee on Education and the Workforce, well-executed STEM programs in rural communities could have significant reciprocal benefits, enhancing the lives of students and strengthening the communities themselves. By enhancing the communities' capacities in agricultural science, health science, and other vital fields, students will create opportunities for themselves while improving the quality of life and creating business opportunities locally. In this webinar, Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest describes the partnerships and strategies that can help to establish a thriving rural STEM ecosystem.
The webinar featured Dr. Haidee Williams, senior technical assistance consultant at AIR, who presented research on supports that have shown promise for increasing student interest and pursuit of STEM fields. David Burns, director of STEM learning networks for Battelle Education, and Kelly Gaier Evans, STEM relationship manager for Battelle Education, discussed the unique context to implementing STEM programs in rural districts. Burns and Evans also discussed rural community characteristics that benefit STEM implementation and highlighted an example of a successful STEM intervention currently used in rural Ohio schools. Dr. Sally Pardue, director of the Millard Oakley STEM Center at Tennessee Tech University, discussed an intervention that grounds STEM in the local context of rural Tennessee communities.