Towards a Diversified STEM Workforce

– I’m Daniel Mackin Freeman. I’m entering the PhD program
in the Sociology Department, and I do education research, specifically arts education research. Right now I’m looking
at a series of attitude and achievement measures,
and within those measures, what would best predict
students entering college, and then majoring in STEM and how that varies by
socioeconomic status. We’re finding that it does
vary by socioeconomic status and attitude measures are more important for lower income kids,
meaning policy wise, programs geared towards
boosting STEM positive attitudes for low income students
could potentially help to diversify the STEM
workforce in the future. The grant that they received from the National Science Foundation, in which over five years we’re looking at disparities within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. And we’re using a nationally
representative data set put together by the
department of education, the national center for
education statistics. It’s called the High School
Longitudinal Study of 2009. The goals of the project
is multiple folds. The first internally is geared towards education within the particular
group in the university. So we do a lot of work
with other departments and other universities in which we invite quantitative research that are looking generally at disparities among youth in education
to come and present. The larger goals are to produce
a high quality scholarship looking at disparities within the STEM education in the United States and the overarching goal over
that is geared towards policy. Right now in the United States, the STEM workforce is largely
white, male, and privileged when it comes to social class and the research we’re
doing is geared towards informing policy that can
diversify the STEM workforce. Sociology generally
looks at social origins or larger patterns within society that can lead to individual inequalities and within the larger project of diversifying the STEM workforce we find within research
that income inequality for example race, gender,
these massive social forces have extreme implications
for students moving through school and then
especially into college and entering the workforce and this is no different within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. So focusing research on those
social or family origins of inequality can help
us inform policy geared towards mitigating those inequalities within the larger society. My name is Daniel Mackin Freeman. I do education research, specifically looking at the ways in which arts education affect science and mathematics achievement.