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Tuesday, November 1 • 2:55pm - 3:45pm
Through the Eyes of the Protagonist: Using Story to Foster STEM Identity and Engage Girls in STEM

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What is STEM identity? What does research say about identity as a predictor of long-term STEM engagement? How can a story be used to cultivate STEM identity and foster engagement? How can these ideas be implemented in afterschool programs? In this session, educator/author Dr. Penny Noyce and engineer/author Sonia Ellis will address these questions as they address the importance of STEM identity in increasing participation of girls and other underrepresented minorities in STEM. They will introduce the research behind using story to foster STEM identity and promote deep learning. Both authors will use their own young-adult books as examples and talk about the ways in which they incorporate STEM and feature diverse, relatable characters (both fictional and real). Finally, Ellis and Noyce will highlight the innovative ways in which story in can be used in OST settings. Attendees will have an opportunity to explore hands-on activities that relate to the books.

A panel discussion with Noyce, Ellis, and Ardith Wieworka from the Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership (MAP) will address audience questions about topics from the presentation as well as how story-based approaches can be partnered with existing programs and curriculum (like Zero Robotics); evidence-based outcomes from pilot sites; and policy considerations for promoting a lifetime of opportunity in STEM for all young people.


Ardith Wieworka

CEO, Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership (MAP)


Sonia Ellis

Writer and Senior Instructional Designer, Smith College/Through My Window

Penny Noyce

Educator, Writer, Publisher, Tumblehome Learning

Tuesday November 1, 2016 2:55pm - 3:45pm EDT
Meeting Room D