UCSC’s Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE)

Have you ever thought about how race, gender, and socioeconomic status factor into your professional interactions? Did you know that research groups that have greater gender and racial diversity are more productive and produce higher quality science? This is one of the reasons why funding agencies such as NIH and NSF ask for grant proposals that demonstrate inclusive practices and promote “broader impacts”. Unfortunately, the participation of women and people of color in research careers is still lagging, even after two full generations of efforts to promote and advance greater diversity across virtually all STEM fields. What are the causes of this disparity, and why should we care?

If you’re interested in reading and discussing the latest research and exploring solutions to these and other pressing issues, then join us at our monthly WiSE Up events. 

Links to great active learning web resources:

If you’re interested in learning more about active and inquiry based learning you should apply to attend this year’s Institute for Science and Engineer Educators (ISEE) Professional Development Program (PDP). PDP training is centered on three core themes that are founded in research – Inquiry, Equity & Inclusion, and Assessment.  This training program is a great way to immerse yourself in the active learning literature and practice the skills necessary to implement a successful active learning curriculum into your classroom.

In 2014 UCSC received a $1.5 million HHMI grant to revamp its introductory science courses, and those classes will be implemented at the start of the 2016 academic year. An overarching goal for this project is to increase student persistence and success in STEM fields.  You can find out about the Physical and Biological Sciences Active Learning Initiative, plus information about their monthly active learning seminar series here.

Lastly, there’s a wealth of literature by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe on Teaching for Understanding.  Here’s an excellent, and brief, PDF on the importance of designing curriculum that enables students to actually do the scientific practices you want them to understand.

UCSC’s Small Mammal Undergraduate Research in Forests (SMURF) program