Smithsonian Science Education Center: 2022 STEM Education Summit: Building a Coalition for Attracting and Retaining A Diverse STEM Teaching Workforce  

To confront the underrepresentation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teaching and leadership, the Smithsonian Science Education Center is hosting our annual STEM Education Summit March 19 – March 26, 2022, as a virtual convening.  This summit is the sixth of its kind to be offered by Smithsonian and the second to be held virtually. 

Research shows that by increasing the diversity of the STEM teacher workforce, students from underrepresented populations are more likely to become interested in STEM and ultimately be better prepared for the career opportunities available to them. 

At the STEM Education Summit, 20 teams of educators from diverse regions across the nation embrace their roles as change agents to create plans for attracting and retaining STEM teachers from underrepresented populations at the school, district, or state-level. Selected teams are matched with a mentor who is carefully selected to fit the unique composition and needs of their team.   

Mentors paired with a team bring an array of skills and professional STEM experiences to their assigned team. Previous mentors have held positions as nonprofit executive directors, veteran classroom teachers, school and district leaders and university professors with deep-rooted interests in STEM education equity and systemic change.  They support all team members to become leaders and provide feedback to their team to guide them through developing and achieving goals. Visit here to view mentor expectations and application!  

Prior to the STEM Education Summit, teams will get acquainted with their mentors as they prepare themselves for the Summit. During the Summit, teams continue to work with their mentor to develop a logic model to address a challenge in attracting and retaining teachers from underrepresented populations into their teaching workforce.  Following the Summit, teams are supported by mentors to implement the action plans described in their logic model in the subsequent school year. 

Program Overview 

Saturday, March 19, 2022: First Day of STEM Education Summit 

Monday – Friday, March 21 –25 2022: Teams and Mentors Supplemental Work and Sessions 

Saturday, March 26, 2022: Second Day of STEM Education Summit  


This work is made possible by an advisory committee composed of education thought leaders including experts from PK–12 and postsecondary education, minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and nonprofits collectively working to build a coalition to attract and retain STEM teachers from underrepresented groups resulting in 30,000 new and existing teachers by 2030.    

About the Smithsonian Science Education Center 

The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) is an organization of the Smithsonian Institution dedicated to transforming K-12 Education through Science™ in collaboration with communities across the globe. To achieve our mission, we have four goals: (1) we promote authentic, inquiry-based, integrated K-12 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teaching and learning; (2) we ensure diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) in K-12 STEM education; (3) we advance STEM education for sustainable development (STEM4SD); and (4) we translate the research and collections of the Smithsonian into meaningful tools and convenings for K-12 teachers and students. We achieve our goals by: (a) building awareness for science education among school leaders; (b) promoting Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER); (c) supporting the professional growth of K-12 teachers and school leaders; (d) developing exemplary K-12 curriculum materials and digital resources (including our comprehensive research-based science curriculum programs: Smithsonian Science for the Classroom; Science and Technology Concepts for Middle School (STCMS); and Smithsonian Science for Global Goals); and (d) engaging in research. At the heart of our work is the idea that all youth—regardless of gender, sexual orientation, geography, race, native language, ability, or socio-economic status—should be given the opportunities to learn about the socio-scientific issues that challenge us. The Smithsonian, through the Smithsonian Science Education Center, plays an active role in sparking students' and teachers' interest in STEM to ensure a scientifically literate global citizenry.