I attended the STEM Symposium at the University of Delaware to commemorate the opening of their new Integrated Sciences Lab. The symposium was fantastic, and it featured a particularly excellent talk on developing persistence in science students and attracting more underrepresented minorities, by David Asai, a senior director of undergraduate and graduate science programs at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. One bit takeaway is ditching the leaky pipeline metaphor for the production of science majors.
He also suggested replacing the often-used model of a “pipeline” that takes students directly from high school through college and doctoral studies without interruption. Instead, he used the metaphor of a watershed, in which students come to college to study STEM from a variety of backgrounds — community colleges, the workforce and the military, for example.
The building itself is beautiful, and I came away with a number of great ideas I’d love to incorporate into a building renovation on our campus, like these awesome pod chairs for starters.