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American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) ARISE


It has been said that all universities “do STEM these days”, but what exactly does it take to “do STEM” well? Questions commonly heard on a university campus these days include: “What is the STEM context for inquiry?”, “Should P-16 STEM be a campus priority?”, “How can a campus break down departmental silos for interdisciplinary workforce development?” In many ways STEM represents, at its core, an interdisciplinary approach and workforce development context to learning, that rigorously engages the core concepts of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (Tsupros, N., Kohler, R. and Hallinen, J., 2009; National Science and Technology Council, 2018). Additionally, STEM concepts are found in most any P-16 curriculum (to include reading, writing, philosophy, history, etc.). How does it all come together for a campus trajectory toward STEM excellence? These questions, as well as projected workforce needs, put “STEM” as an important conversation on most campuses these days, and it certainly is the case on our campus, at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). Further, it is a truly a national dialogue, as educational institutions strive to more effectively work across disciplinary lines for “convergence”, where the insights and approaches from different disciplines can come together for finding creative solutions for our most difficult societal problems (National Research Council, 2014). Convergence is also a growing theme for innovations in P-12 STEM teacher training, such as at the National Science Foundation’s 2018 Noyce Teacher Scholarship Summit ( and also across scientific programs as one of NSF’s 10 big ideas (


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