Excerpt from original article, "Note from the director: Broadening participation through NSF INCLUDES," posted on NSF Discovery, February 23, 2017.
Last year, NSF issued its first grants for NSF INCLUDES, a major addition to our portfolio of programs seeking to broaden participation in science and engineering (S&E). In January, I had a chance to meet with the recipients of those grants at our first meeting for principal investigators.
NSF INCLUDES is based on a simple idea: Identify proven, innovative ideas that create access to S&E for groups traditionally underrepresented in those fields, and then scale up those ideas to help more people. The program will accomplish this goal by building alliances, networks and partnerships among those committed to broadening participation.
We took our first big step with NSF INLCUDES in 2016, awarding 40 Design and Development Launch Pilots. The launch pilot awardees will play a critical role in laying the foundation for NSF INCLUDES, setting the standard for how this program moves forward.
NSF INCLUDES aims to ensure that all Americans, no matter who they are or where they come from, have access to opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Black History Month is an excellent time to look at some of the NSF INCLUDES-funded projects that focus on improving STEM access for African Americans, a population currently underrepresented in S&E. All of these projects embody key elements of NSF INCLUDES' approach.