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Harmonious Integration: Tuning STEM Education with Generative Justice.

Ieee, J F Drazan, R Eglash, L Cooke

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STEM educational practices not only have limited success in engaging students from underrepresented groups, but also often fail to prepare future scientists and engineers with an appreciation for the social and environmental concerns that underpin their work. Rather than approaching these challenges separately, they can both be addressed by "tuning" STEM education practices to be more socially conscious. We believe that one of the issues with STEM recruitment in unrepresented groups is the lack of societal context in which STEM problems are addressed. Rather than relying on an externally imposed moral framework, we utilize the concept of generative justice to serve as a framework to inform STEM practices. Generative justice refers to an understanding of how value is generated and then circulated within a system. A generative solution to a STEM problem allows the value generated to flow from its point of generation, become augmented with STEM practices, and back to its original source. This framework allows STEM practitioners to identify the value generated within a system and then tune their practices so that maximal value is returned to the community within which they operate. This paper provides a case study of this generative STEM approach in our work on sports science within an urban environment. By starting STEM from the authentic interests and values of the community of underrepresented students, we can create a harmonious tuning between the providers of STEM outreach and its recipients, and train a new generation of scientists and engineers who are not tone deaf to the needs for social justice.

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