Engaging Rural and Alaska Native Undergraduates & Youth in Arctic STEM


Overview

Savoonga, St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. Photo by Lisa Sheffield Guy.Savoonga, St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. Photo by Lisa Sheffield Guy.

The Arctic is changing at an unprecedented rate, with consequences for Arctic residents—particularly Indigenous peoples. Along with these changes are new challenges and a growing need to engage and train the next generation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields that are specifically focused on the Arctic. To successfully address the challenges, institutions working in the Arctic need to represent and be inclusive of the communities most affected by changes happening in the region. To start addressing these issues, the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) Arctic STEM Education Working Group decided a workshop was needed to focus on Arctic Undergraduate and Youth STEM programming. ARCUS will facilitate an invite-only workshop 28-29 April 2020 that will gather 25–30 representatives from federal agencies, researchers on Arctic STEM projects, Indigenous faculty, and community members. The focus of the workshop is to discuss the gaps, challenges, opportunities, and successful practices to increase and support the representation of rural and Alaska Native youth that are in high school, undergraduates, and/or graduates in STEM education and career pathways. Prior to the workshop, open "Listen & Learn" sessions will be held to provide opportunities for discussion on these issues.

Broader Impacts

The broader impacts of this workshop include generating solutions and forming partnerships to develop sound strategies for augmenting diversity and inclusion efforts of rural and Alaska Natives in STEM. Participants in this workshop will identify opportunities for improving STEM engagement and diversity efforts, and provide guidance on where additional efforts can be focused to increase Alaska Native representation in Arctic STEM.

Project Activities

Prior to the workshop, we are hosting several "Listen & Learn Sessions". The purpose of these sessions is to provide a shared space for discussing challenges in Arctic STEM and opportunities for improving engagement of rural and Alaska Native high school youth, undergraduates, and/or graduates in Arctic STEM fields and activities. Discussions will be used to help formulate the final workshop agenda. These sessions are open to the public.

Listen and Learn Sessions

Open Discussion at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium
When: Wednesday, 29 January 2020: 6:00-7:00PM AKST
Venue: Alaska Marine Science Symposium Ocean Educator Night, Captain Cook Hotel, Anchorage, Alaska
Session Description: Open opportunity to discuss ideas on how to engage youth in STEM.

An Open Discussion on Engaging Rural and Alaska Native Youth in Arctic STEM
When: Tuesday, 11 February 2020: 3:30 – 4:45PM AKST
Venue: Alaska Forum for the Environment Conference, Anchorage, Alaska
Session Description: We want to hear from you! In this youth-focused session, we are asking participants to share their experiences, thoughts, and strategies on how to better engage Alaska youth in STEM programs that are being offered in Alaska. We want to know what is working, what isn’t working, and hear your ideas on how to make these programs more useful to Alaska youth (focusing on high school, undergraduate, graduate, out-of-school youth). We hope you’ll join us.

Free Friday Youth Workshop with Alaska Youth for Environmental Action (AYEA), The Alaska Center, and the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS)
When: Friday, 14 February 2020: 10:00AM-12:00PM AKST
Venue: Alaska Forum for the Environment Conference, Anchorage, Alaska
Session Description: Come check out our Youth Booth that will showcase our Youth Track participants who presented at this year’s Youth Track. Alaska Youth for Environmental Action (AYEA) will also be on hand to share ideas and information on environmental issues and concerns that youth in Alaska are currently facing. Also, there will be an important open forum discussion on how to better engage Alaskan youth in STEM—we want to hear from YOU!

Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) Discussions
Opportunities for ANSEP students to comment and share their ideas.
When: University of Alaska Anchorage; Friday, 28 February 2020 from 12:00PM-1PM AKST as part of regular meeting.
When: University of Alaska Fairbanks; Tuesday, 7 April 2020 at t 1:15PM AKDT as part of regular meeting.

One Health Conference
When: Friday, 13 March 2020; 5:30-6:30PM AK
Where: Wood Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks (Room C/D)
Session Description: An Open Discussion on Engaging Rural and Alaska Native Undergraduates and Youth in Alaska STEM
We want to hear from you! In this youth focused session, we are asking participants to share their experiences, thoughts, and strategies on how to better engage Alaska undergraduates and youth in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs that are being offered in Alaska. We want to know what is working, what isn’t working, and hear your ideas on how to make these programs more useful. We hope you’ll join us.

Engaging Rural and Alaska Native Undergraduates & Youth in Arctic STEM Workshop

The two-day workshop, "Engaging Rural and Alaska Native Undergraduates & Youth in Arctic STEM", will be hosted in Fairbanks, Alaska 28-29 April 2020 at the Akasofu Building, IARC Conference Room 501, University of Alaska Fairbanks. This invite-only workshop will be facilitated so that workshop participants can produce a report on opportunities and methods for engaging rural Alaskan and Alaska Native undergraduates and youth in Arctic STEM. Please note that this workshop will be by invitation. Email Janet Warburton warburton [at] arcus.org if you want to be considered to attend.

The workshop will discuss the following topics:
1. Broaden understanding of key barriers, challenges, and opportunities in engaging rural and Alaska Native undergraduates and youth participation in STEM fields;
2. Communicate methods and programs that are successful in engaging rural and Alaska Native undergraduates and youth in STEM education programs and workforce development;
3. Share perspectives on what is working and what needs to change; and
4. Discuss ways in which workshop participants can advance individual and collective efforts towards increasing rural Alaskan and Alaska Native undergraduate and youth engagement in Arctic STEM education and career pathways.

Resources

A number of resources have been collected for learning more about engaging youth in STEM. This is a growing body of knowledge; if you have contributions, please contact the ARCUS staff. Notes from the Listen and Learn sessions will also be shared in the Resources section as they are available.

Contact

For more information and/or if you have questions about participating in any of these activities, please contact Janet Warburton at warburton [at] arcus.org.

Acknowledgements and Partners

This work is funded by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement No. PLR-1928794.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

A special thanks to the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) Arctic STEM Education Working Group for supporting this work, and the International Arctic Research Center at University of Alaska Fairbanks for co-collaborating and partnering in the Listen & Learn Sessions, writing reports, and collaborating on the workshop planning. This work is being facilitated by Alli Harvey with Information Insights Inc., Fairbanks, Alaska.