TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — For the third summer in four years, The University of Alabama will host educators, students and industry leaders to help promote diversity inclusion in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, education.
The 41st SECME Summer Institute will take place on the UA campus June 18-24. Through the nonprofit organization SECME, the institute gives educators the tools they need to make STEM education accessible to minority students. K-12 educators, university faculty, industry and government leaders will convene during the institute to share content, research and practices with each other to encourage equity, excellence and inclusion in STEM education.
“Through the SECME Summer Institute curriculum, teachers are exposed to an assortment of creative classroom activities targeted to challenge, excite and expose students to STEM,” said Gregory Singleton, the director of Engineering Student Services at UA. “Throughout the summer institute, creative ideas and methodology will take place for science and math teachers and students.”
The institute is a way for the nonprofit organization to prepare historically underrepresented and underserved students for success in post-secondary studies and careers in STEM fields. The focus of SECME is on the partnership between K-12 schools and universities in a teacher-centered effort.
“The primary focus of the SECME Summer Institute are the math and science teacher participants and their classroom activities to encourage more students to consider STEM fields,” Singleton said. “Research has found high school, middle- and elementary-school teachers can make a major difference in the influencing of students being either turned on or turned off with math and science at a very early stage in their education.”
The Summer Institute is broken up into three sessions geared toward different groups.
The SECME Summer Institute Professional Development Experience is for K-12 educators and administrators to take part in learning, collaboration and dialog through hands-on STEM content modules and networking. Participants will attend interest specific sessions, workshops covering issues impacting STEM equity and other interactive meetings with education leaders. The session lasts the entire week and coincides with the Pipeline Diversity Summit.
The SECME STEM Pipeline Diversity Summit is from June 21-24 and is for university, industry and government partners, SECME alumni and district and state-level education leaders. This group will exchange ideas on improving STEM education engagement, achievement, post-secondary access and career readiness while gaining insight into strategies and programs to enhance diversity in STEM education.
Also happening during the final four days of the institute is the invitation-only SECME National Student Engineering Design Competition for K-12 student teams. SECME Regional Competition student team winners were invited to compete for SECME National Engineering Design Championship titles in Mousetrap Car and VEX Robotics. Students will stay on campus, attend engineering sessions, participate in activities and compete.
For more information on SECME, visit secmeinc.wixsite.com/secme.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.