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1. Identify EWD Gap(s)

  • Identify possible gaps by using four typical (and often overlapping) EWD “buckets.” See examples below of gaps in four typical buckets. Diversity gaps can span buckets.
  • Conduct literature searches to find evidence to support your gap.
    • Consider starting with landmark publications of National Academies Press or National Research Council
    • Follow trail of literature cited in NAP or NRC reports
    • Talk with education researchers and outreach experts


  • Girls make up 50% of high school math and science classes and score identical to boys in standardized tests. Yet, they are only 37% of college STEM enrollment.
  • Undergraduate engineering students lack awareness of digital agriculture career pathway.
  • K-12 students lack real-world application of STEM subjects when science is taught as static facts rather than dynamic processes. Students lose interest in STEM education.

Skill Development

  • Defense industry's advanced domestic manufacturing is vulnerable to diminishing STEM and trade skills.
  • Bioscience students have limited/late introduction to statistics and quantitative analysis in undergraduate life science curriculum. Students are not prepared for workforce demands.
  • On average, female computer science students start their freshman year with much less of a background in programming than their male counterparts. This impacts retention.


  • Low-income students and black and Latino females are less likely to have opportunities to take advanced STEM courses. Students are less prepared for STEM coursework.
  • MSI faculty carry high teaching loads that often prevent their participation as STEM research mentors.

Public Literacy

  • Lack of understanding of science behind GMOs leads to uninformed consumer decision making.
  • Parents are unprepared to guide children in STEM career options.
  • Lack of lifelong science education hinders participation as citizens in democratic process.


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