The InterMountain Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Launch Pilot (IM STEM)

Join us at the next IM STEM Network Meeting

Thursday, December 12, 2019 at 3pm MT

Using the STEM Equity Program Rubric for Program Improvement

 The IM STEM Workgroup on Effective Practices and Scaling released the STEM Equity Program Evaluation Rubric . This rubric is designed to help program administrators, designers, implementers and funders identify the critical attributes of a STEM program to determine the degree to which it is inclusive and supports access and success for students who historically have not engaged in STEM. Serving “all students” does not ensure equity, so considering how each of these attributes impacts underrepresented students in STEM and addressing those barriers will create a STEM learning environment where every student can succeed.

The rubric contains eight research-based attributes of high-quality, equitable STEM programs. Each attribute is defined and contains several sub-attributes that expand the user’s understanding of the attribute. The rubric then provides criteria for what constitutes an accomplished, established, developing, and undeveloped STEM program for each sub-attribute. Finally, each attribute lists several examples of artifacts that would demonstrate evidence of the attribute. The rubric is intended to be used primarily as a guide for program leaders to self-evaluate how well their programs meet the standards of equity in STEM education and design strategies to grow toward accomplished in every attribute. The rubric could also be used by other STEM stakeholders when making funding or partnership decisions through a lens of equity. Join us to learn more about how programs are using the rubric and how you can use this valuable resource too!
What's going on In the network?
Communications and Resource Sharing
The Communication and Resource Sharing group asks that you get the most out of network membership by engaging in conversation with each other on our social media channels, including our LinkedIn group (IM STEM Network) and Twitter (@imstemequity). We have also created a form on the IMSTEM website where you can enter information about your program, so we can share it across the network in future IM STEM newsletters.

Please also continue to invite your professional colleagues to take advantage of the network by signing up today at our website:
Data and Metrics
In partnership with Idaho, this workgroup has developed a pilot data dashboard to display data from Idaho’s career and technical education programs to test the feasibility of using a dashboard to conduct a more comprehensive equity gap analysis. Perkins V requires data to be disaggregated by gender, race/ethnicity and each of the 9 special population groups. This pilot dashboard can inform states as they are working on data collection and accountability in their State Plans for Perkins V. To learn more about Perkins V and to view the national data dashboards go to NAPE’s resource page at  
Asset Map Building
Our asset mapping team is currently working with Nevada to develop an asset map that shows where STEM programming exists. Some states already have maps, including Idaho  and Wyoming , and you can view them by clicking on the state name. New Mexico  has just launched their “crowd sourced” STEM asset map (for NM STEM programs only). Any other questions about the IMSTEM Asset map initiative, please contact Kathleen Fitzpatrick .  
Effective Practice Scaling
The Rubric for Evaluating Programs to Broaden Participation in STEM was released at our September network meeting. A tool for evaluating programs and the factors that influence access and success for underrepresented students in STEM education is available at
Pilot Monitoring
This workgroup continues to monitor NAPE’s professional development efforts in the six states. Since the fall of 2017 (the beginning of the NSF INCLUDES DDLP: IM STEM grant) NAPE has conducted professional development (PD) in five states at twelve sites with over 1200 educators. The Pilot Monitoring workgroup will be conducting a follow-up survey with participants to learn more about the impact of this PD. For more information about NAPE’s PD contact Kathleen Fitzpatrick at .
What's going on Around the network?

The Women’s Foundation of Colorado created This is What STEM Looks Like! to introduce parents, caregivers, and educators to the many opportunities that STEM can provide for girls and women. This guide contains resources to help girls explore those opportunities and tools to inspire, motivate, and prepare young women to thrive in STEM careers. Each chapter includes strategies that are specific to a certain age group, as well as benchmarks to strive for in each stage of girls’ lives to prepare them for future STEM opportunities. The conclusion includes recommendations for actions everyone can take to support systems-level change for women and girls in Colorado and present a vision of what it will be like as girls become equally represented in STEM careers. Click on the following link to download the full guide, read the executive summary, and learn about the contributors.


Registration is now open for SheTech 2020! SheTech Explorer Day is a free hands-on tech conference for high school girls 9th through 12 grades. This day-long event will include hands-on workshops in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The ultimate goal is to expose girls to technology in a fun atmosphere as well as meet STEM role models to learn more about opportunities in those fields. The day is tech interactive and enables girls to experience, innovate and create. Girls start in the morning with some working sessions where they explore STEM fields such as robotics, computer programming, digital media, health and microbiology. After the workshops they get to hear from a female industry visionary. In the afternoon the girls experience the TechChallenge where they work with industry mentors to ideate, solve and pitch their solutions. SheTech is held at Boise State University in the Student Union Building. Click on the following link for more information and to register.


Several dozen middle schoolers played video games and toured the esports arena at the Luxor casino-resort in October as part of a new program working to get girls excited about careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM). The trip was part of a new program called Battle Born Girls Innovate , hosted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas International Gaming Institute. The program focuses on girls in Title 1 schools where at least 85% of the population is enrolled in the free or reduced lunch program. The mission of this program is to introduce young women to Southern Nevada’s STEAM careers, demystify success in these fields, and provide an outlet for them to engage with women role models and leaders. The students participated in interactive sessions and hands-on learning activities focused on game design and development, innovation and entrepreneurship.

New Mexico

Gianna Nilvo , a middle school student who attends Los Lunas’ School of Dreams Academy, won 1st Place in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) National Agriscience Fair in Division 1 (Individual Projects – Animal Systems) on November 4, 2019, in Indianapolis, Indiana. This win came directly after Gianna’s participation at the Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars) STEM competition in Washington D.C. where she was one of 30 students chosen to attend. Gianna’s project for both competitions centered on the question of whether digestive enzymes helped a cat’s digestion and, in turn, give a cat a longer healthier life. Her inspiration came from her own cats’ struggles with digestive issues. Gianna plans to go to college to become a veterinarian.


On October 9, 2019, the Women Tech Council (WTC) held their 12th Annual Women Tech Awards honoring Utah’s 18 most amazing women in technology. With this year’s finalists, these awards have now recognized more than 200 technology-focused women who are driving innovation, creating new technologies, impacting tech companies and inspiring the technology community. This recognition accelerates growth for the entire technology sector and helps inspire the next generation of STEM leaders. This year’s finalists were selected for their professional achievements, personal accomplishments, leadership in business, and industry experiences. Click on the following link for a list of finalists.


Wyoming's 2019 STEM & Innovation Report Card is available through ASTRA’s 2019 STEM Innovation Vital Signs Series. Now in its 19th year of publication, ASTRA’s STEM on the Hill State STEM Report Cards series illustrates the importance of scientific and engineering research and STEM Education to state and local economies, job growth, innovation, competitiveness, our standard of living and U.S. national security. A variety of measurements, including data from ASTRA, EMSI, the Small Business Technology Council, EPSCoR/IDeA Foundation and key U.S. Government statistical sources provide context to these reports. Click on the following link to access Wyoming’s 2019 STEM & Innovation Report Card.
Women Tech Council Report: The Gender Gap in Tech and How to Fix It

The Women Tech Council (WTC), a national organization based in Silicon Slopes focused on increasing the number of women in technology, released a research report earlier this year documenting the gender gap in the tech sector and the practices that are effectively closing it. The report, The Gender Gap in Tech & How to Fix It, focuses on four key areas needed for technology companies to accelerate the creation of more inclusive and diverse teams and cultures for women in tech. The report expands other research of the technology sector by moving past siloed and individual components to the programs and policies that have created inclusive cultures in some of the industry’s most successful technology companies. Click on the following link to read the full report:

STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson

STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson is a quarterly print magazine featuring the education, experience, and skills of girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields - in programs, academia, and/or workforce. STEMher celebrates girls and women in STEM and inspires others to pursue education and careers that are STEM-related. Featuring well-rounded women sharing their subject matter expertise, this magazine shows that there are several paths to success and reaching for excellence. Whether a student, young professional or retired, have a certificate or doctorate degree holder, vocational training or college education, the journey and stories of all girls and women are featured in the magazine. STEMher provides insight on continuing education, training and activities, professional and personal development, codes and standards, research, programs and career opportunities, conferences and events, government relations and other touch points to its readers. STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine provides timely, relevant information to assist in career and professional development and advancement in STEM. All girls and women are encouraged to share their story – whether they received some form of training in a STEM field or later got into a STEM career.

STEMconnector Leslie Cruz Shares Insights on Mentoring and Growing a Business for YWCA’s Organize Your Butterflies Podcast Series

How can women be empowered within STEM? This episode of Organize Your Butterflies, powered by the Coca Cola Foundation, is the sixth in the “Y Women Startup” curriculum. This is the third chapter under “The Core of Business Operations,” and focuses on the challenges that women face when entering the (relatively) new STEM sector. This conversation features Leslie Cruz, the founder and CEO of Million Women Mentors, discussing what is driving the “tsunami” of women coming into the workforce, and the disparity of women in STEM roles. Their discussion also includes the belief gap between girls and boys, the importance of solving problems from a technological lens, and why mentorship is so important to attracting and retaining women within STEM.

High School Physics Teachers Encouraged to STEP UP for Girls in STEM

Science thrives when driven by the combined efforts of diverse perspectives. Physics, then, is missing out: only 20% of physicists are women. The STEP UP project, led by a consortium of physics educators, researchers and professional societies, is changing the culture of physics by providing high school physics teachers with resources to inspire women to pursue physics in college. Tell a teacher you know about the free lesson plans and have them join the movement today!

New Technology Offers a Promising Solution to Build Equity in the STEM Workforce

Earlier this year, STEMconnector released new research in partnership with McGraw-Hill examining corporate perspectives on the most pressing needs of the workforce and the ways in which intelligent adaptive learning platforms can bridge opportunities gaps, building a wider STEM talent pool to meet the needs of a dynamic economy. To repair the educational debt faced by underrepresented students and build a larger and more prepared workforce, intelligent adaptive learning platforms, when implemented appropriately, have proven to be effective in helping students catch up to their peers, allowing them access to STEM majors and careers for which they may have previously been weeded out. Click the link to learn more and download a free copy of the report.

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IM STEM is a network of STEM educators and leaders across six states (CO, ID, NM, NV, UT, and WY) working to support STEM equity at key transition points (middle school to high school and high school to college).
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1744472. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.