The Chalk Blog

Partnering to Build Belonging in STEM Classrooms

Ending the STEM Teacher Shortage

When Beyond100K put out the call for partners nearly a decade ago in their effort to solve one of the country’s most pressing educational issues – high quality STEM education for all – Teaching Channel and Learners Edge stepped up! Through our work with other committed institutions and organizations, we were able to help catalyze widespread progress in the area of STEM education, including:

  • Improved preparation– More STEM teacher candidates have access to evidence-based STEM preparation
  • Enhanced professional development– More teachers have access to quality STEM professional growth and collaborative work environments 

Through this incredible work, we’ve supported and trained nearly 110K STEM educators who are collectively driving impact on the STEM education field, K-12 students, and classroom learning environments. And the network isn’t stopping there!

A New Goal—Belonging

We are proud to partner with Beyond100K to further impact STEM education through a new goal—To champion belonging in classrooms all over the country through the preparation and retention of 150K new STEM teachers, especially for schools serving majority Black, Latinx, and Native American students. As an organization we recognize the need to prepare teachers who reflect and represent their students; and to cultivate workplaces and classrooms of belonging, creating the best conditions for all students to thrive in STEM learning.

Data analysis conducted by the Beyond100K UnComission found that students of color are most excluded from STEM learning:

  • 2 in 5 Black and Latinx students say they enjoy STEM courses and aspire to go to college, but less than 3 percent are enrolling in STEM courses. That means that nearly 225,000 Black and Latinx students are missing out on STEM AP courses.
  • Black people are excluded from STEM in the greatest extremes at all levels of learning, from pre-K through the STEM workplace. Black boys are often at the furthest margins of STEM, receiving lower scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) than any other group, including Black girls. 
  • Latinx people are also consistently excluded at all levels of learning from kindergarten through the STEM workplace in comparison to White and Asian peers.
  • Native American students are the most excluded group in terms of access to a full-range of STEM high school courses, with only 47% having such access, compared to 57% of Black students (the next most excluded group in terms of access). 

The data show that, in addition to race, other factors consistently impact STEM learning and opportunity for learners:

  • Students in high-poverty schools often lack access to advanced high-school coursework. For example, 75% of high-poverty high schools do not offer Computer Science. Students from low-income schools also receive lower NAEP scores and complete STEM college degrees at lower rates than their higher-income peers.
  • Girls and women experience exclusion in advanced STEM courses in high school and at the undergraduate level and tend to be less engaged in Computer Science & Engineering. In the STEM workplace, women experience exclusion most significantly in STEM fields that require graduate degrees, in male-dominated STEM environments, and in Computer Science jobs.
  • Rural students are also excluded in their access to advanced STEM courses in high school and in earning college degrees in STEM fields. 

Our Commitment to Action

With this stark data in mind, we commit to supporting educators to better understand the critical impact of exclusion on students from historically marginalized populations and with intersectional identities. We’ll do this through the addition of new courses to our catalog and improved content accessible to all. We aim to support the development of educator skills and mindsets to cultivate belonging in STEM classes. Our team of course writers, in collaboration with experienced STEM education partners, are busy planning for the design of future learning opportunities in 2023 and beyond, so stay tuned. 

To affect real change, intentional collaboration and critical professional learning are key! In partnership with the Beyond 100K change-maker network, we can create lasting change in STEM education– ending the STEM teacher shortage with a focus on equity and belonging.

To keep up with our efforts to build better STEM PD with Beyond 100K (and be the first to find out about new learning opportunities), subscribe to our blog. 


Learners Edge is passionately committed to providing you with continuing education coursework, materials, and tools that will help you succeed in your classroom and in your career.

Offering more than 120 online courses for teachers, you can earn the graduate credit you need for salary advancement and meet your professional development needs. Contact us today to get started!

Request a Personalized Course Recommendation


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