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Next Generation STEM Learning: Investigate, Innovate, Inspire

Network for Academic Renewal Conference
November 8-10, 2012
Kansas City, Missouri

About the Conference

Next Generation STEM Learning:  Investigate, Innovate, Inspire will focus on how colleges, community colleges, and universities of all sorts can articulate, expand, measure, and track what works to advance students’ achievement of key learning outcomes, emphasizing scientific literacy, quantitative reasoning, analytical thinking, and visionary leadership. The conference also will feature evidence-based practices that address the urgent need to help underserved students pursue and succeed in STEM courses and programs. It will feature interdisciplinary learning experiences; alignment of program goals for STEM student success across the K-16 continuum; strategies for institutional change that enable 21st century learning; and new approaches in the curriculum and co-curriculum to provide real-world experiences. 

Twenty-first century global conditions present us with an array of grand challenges—and STEM stands at the center of virtually all of them.  Population, health, energy, environment, economics, politics, religion, culture, the ethical imperatives of human rights and social justice, come together inextricably and complexly to compose the grand challenges of our times.  Challenges of this order require multidimensional solutions, depending on contributions from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

A new report from the Center on Education and the Workforce highlights the need for more college graduates who have “STEM competencies” for employment and for lifelong wellbeing, competencies in both STEM as well as non-STEM sectors.  The multi-faceted, unscripted, and borderless challenges of the future--food and water, energy, disease prevention, economic disparities, climate change, conflict and nuclear proliferation—present an urgent set of issues for higher education. What must higher education do to assure that all students who go to college—regardless of major—graduate with the knowledge and agency to meet and to lead productive lives amid these challenges. What STEM skills and understandings is society asking of college graduates?  What are employers seeking?  What should higher education be doing in both general education and major fields to help more students gain 21st century skills?  How do we move successful models already developed from niche to norm?

To address challenges of great magnitude, the world needs both liberally educated STEM professionals and scientifically and quantitatively literate college graduates equipped with integrative knowledge, inquiry and analytical skills, innovative vision, and inspiring leadership equal to the tasks at hand.  New discoveries in STEM can come to life for students when they see relevance to their own lives and to the common good.  To be effective, new applications of STEM knowledge and skills require an understanding of the human and natural worlds, an ability to integrate and apply knowledge to real-world problems, and a deep commitment to making the world a better place for all. 

AAC&U and Project Kaleidoscope invite you to join us in examining and advancing the Next Generation of STEM Learning—education that is integrative and that links STEM learning with campus and community, that depends on innovation, bringing new discoveries to market, and calls for inspiring leadership and collaboration for a better world.

Visit the Call for Proposals to find out how to submit a proposal to share your work at this conference.


Please contact the Development Office at (202) 884-7421 or e-mail for information about sponsorship opportunities for this conference.