Research

Empowering students by making STEM curricula more inclusive

Principal investigator: Rehan SHAH
Co-investigator(s): Dr. Claudia Garetto (QMUL) and Saqib Raza JIVANI
STEM disciplines have traditionally been taught as an exercise in memorisation and repetitive application of formulae, with the historical aspects often confined to the contributions made by white male European mathematicians, scientists, and engineers. As a result of this, very few students can relate to these mathematical figures, which consequently contributes to the stigma that studying STEM subjects is esoteric, inaccessible, and extremely difficult for them. To rectify this, there is a strong need for increasing students’ awareness of diverse representation within STEM disciplines; not just through exposure to mathematicians, scientists, and engineers from diverse and under-represented backgrounds (including those identifying as female, disabled, and queer), but also those applying their skills within academia and industry through non-traditional pathways. This project aims to co-design (with students) teaching toolkit materials featuring short biographies of past and present mathematicians, scientists and engineers from under-represented minority groups to embed within undergraduate STEM courses. It also seeks to provide opportunities for students to gain exposure to diverse STEM role models by inviting currently active, diverse STEM professionals, compile links to multimedia resources to highlight their contributions and produce a diversity and inclusion agenda to inform future EDI initiatives in STEM curriculum design.