STEMIE 2.0 Center receives funding to advance Inclusive STEM education for young children with disabilities
The STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education (STEMIE) Center is thrilled to announce $7.25 million of new funding to continue its groundbreaking work to advance inclusive STEM education for young children with disabilities. The proposal submitted by the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina, in collaboration with the University of Denver, Bridge Multimedia, and Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation has been selected by the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education to receive an 84.327 G Award for STEMIE 2.0. The new award will allow the Center to further its mission of ensuring equitable access to high-quality STEM experiences for young children with disabilities, from birth to age five.
"We are delighted to share this momentous news with our partners and supporters including early childhood practitioners, faculty and professional development providers, families, and STEM professionals with disabilities who have been instrumental in making the next iteration of STEMIE possible," said Megan Vinh, PhD, principal investigator and co-director of the STEMIE Center. "In STEMIE 1.0, we learned so much from our knowledge development work about young children with disabilities particularly those with intersecting identities and how our system actively creates barriers to engaging in STEM learning because of systemic ableism and racism. We hope to expand our work in STEMIE 2.0 to ensure we are actively producing strategies aimed at eliminating these barriers."
"This work is vital as we strive to foster a community where children with disabilities and intersecting identities are no longer denied access to STEM learning opportunities," says Chih-Ing Lim.
In the next phase, STEMIE 2.0, the Center will continue to collaborate closely with early childhood practitioners and families. Together, they will work to integrate inclusive and identity affirming STEM learning experiences seamlessly into everyday routines and activities, creating an enriching environment for young learners. Additionally, the Center aims to form partnerships with faculty from minority-serving institutions and professional development providers. These collaborations will focus on cultivating early childhood practitioners who are confident and proficient in delivering inclusive, playful, and identity-affirming early STEM teaching and learning experiences.
The STEMIE Center is dedicated to expanding its work and knowledge on learning trajectories, inclusive and identity-affirming STEM teaching, and learning for young children with disabilities. "We are humbled by the opportunity to continue our efforts in confronting barriers and building inclusive STEM education for each and every child," said Chih-Ing Lim, PhD, co-director of the STEMIE Center. "This work is vital as we strive to foster a community where children with disabilities and intersecting identities are no longer denied access to STEM learning opportunities."
For more information about the STEMIE Center and its initiatives, please visit https://stemie.fpg.unc.edu.