SAVE the DATE TAPIA 2020 Dallas,TX September 16-19, 2020

2019 Tapia Conference

Teaching to Increase Equity in STEM (TIDES): Empowering the Underrepresented using Culturally-Responsive Strategies and Tackling Bias

Friday, September 20, 2019 — 1:15PM - 2:15PM


Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in Science (TIDES) is a subdivision of the Project Kaleidoscope and is dedicated to increase the learning outcomes and retention of students historically underrepresented in the Science, Technology, and Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines, particularly computer science. Studies by the National Science Foundation indicate that less than 5% of Latinas complete a doctoral degree in STEM and within computer fields the number is much lower. A main problem alluring Latinas to fields like Computational Biology (CB) is how to preserve their femininity in these male-dominated careers. Consequently, an empowering program “Cybernetic Girls can be Pinky” to allure Latinas into CB was implemented with a series of culturally-responsive strategies in three core Biology courses. The Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory implemented the Small World Initiative (SWI) where students conducted a research project with local soils. All SWI modules were translated to Spanish and students identified more than 25 unique isolates with antimicrobial activities using CB tools. To fully empower undergraduate students, we also provided a Women in Science Course that emphasized the accomplishments of Latinas currently in Science. At the faculty level, we started regional meetings in collaboration with the Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) and invited STEM faculty at Hispanic Serving Institutions to share their success stories. The meetings not only contemplated their best practices, but also highlighted the culturally-responsive strategies implemented that resulted in an increased retention of Latinos in their STEM classrooms.

Workshop Presenters:
Lilliam Casillas Martinez, Professor in Biology at the University of Puerto Rico Humacao
Patricia Ordóñez, Associate Professor, University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras