Our Commitment to Our Staff and the Students We Serve

In alignment with USC's commitment to access and opportunity, the K12 STEM Center is committed to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA) in the STEM fields. The K-12 STEM Center develops strategies and builds initiatives to meet the needs of a diverse population, specifically in efforts to increase the representation of African American/Black, Hispanic/LatinX, Native/Indigenous, and female students in its STEM programs. Some of those efforts include, targeted outreach, mentorship, and scholarships.

Creating Equitable Student Experiences in STEM

1. Why Inclusivity is important in STEM education

We acknowledge that systemic bias and discrimination are contributors to the widening of gender gap in STEM and who has access to opportunities in these fields.We understand that both gender and racial diversity in STEM education has historically been limited, which we strive to change for the better.

2. Why inclusivity/equity is important to the Center staff

Center staff are deeply invested in creating programs that are equitable and inclusive of all students. Staff members play an active role in ensuring equitable student experiences by creating a welcoming and safe space for all students we serve to feel a sense of belonging.

3. What we teach about inclusivity/equity to USC students

The STEM Center is committed to working to create an equitable environment for all, especially female students and Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC). Experiences students have in STEM when they are young can shape their attitudes about STEM learning for years to come. These attitudes can include assumptions about whether or not a student can visualize themselves in STEM.

Equity efforts made by instructors employed by the STEM Center can help students have positive experiences and lead to a desire to pursue STEM subjects in the future. One of our goals is to better prepare our undergraduate and graduate instructors with the tools they need to carry out their role as an equitable educator and role model to the youth served.  

Gender Equity at the
K-12 STEM Center

The goal of this video is to educate our staff, STEM Assistants, and volunteers in order to create a baseline for equity. This is one of many videos that will build on these concepts.

Join us on our equity journey and look out for more videos and resources to come!

K-12 STEM Diversity

MESA Day Competition 2019

Did you know?

We increased the participation of African American students by 54% in our elementary, middle and high school summer engineering programs.
80% of the USC Viterbi K-12 STEM Center staff are female.
98% of all students served are historically underrepresented in STEM.
We are inspired in our commitment to diversity and inclusitivity by the leadership of USC Viterbi School of Engineering Dean Yannis C. Yortsos. As chair of the Diversity Committee of the Engineering Deans Council for the American Society for Engineering Education, he presented at the White House on "Demo Day".
"Equity in education...we must acknowledge [students'] difference, build on their strengths and respond to needs, the ones in the classroom as well as their nonacademic social, psychological and emotional needs."

–USC Rossier Dean Pedro Noguera

Collaborative Partnerships

Meet the IDEA Team

Anne Areta
Alexandra Guttierez 
Jennifer Kolbauer
Monica Lopez