Presentation #504.05 in the session “IDEA: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility”.
Education and public engagement programs often aim to reach diverse audiences; efforts to increase diversity in planetary science cannot begin in higher education. Research shows that students in elementary and middle school need to start learning about career opportunities to develop their STEM identity . To better serve students and families from lower socio-economic communities and Black and Latinx communities, the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) endeavors to create and maintain authentic partnerships with individuals and organizations already embedded in those communities. Authentic partnerships take time to build, require ongoing respectful communication, and build upon recognition of each partner’s strengths, resources, and mission . LPI works with partners to reach and serve students and families through its public engagement programs. Libraries are an excellent community partner; LPI has a long-standing partnership with the Pasadena Public Library in Texas, where the majority of the population is Latinx. LPI conducts Spanish and English programs at their libraries, with input and assistance from the library staff. LPI is also partnering on new projects with the Texas Alliance of the Boys & Girls Clubs. Many Clubs are national leaders in the provision of enrichment, intervention programs, Latinx outreach, STEM and other academic-related programming. This presentation will highlight elements for successful partnerships to engage diverse communities. References:  National Science Foundation, 2010. Preparing the next generation of STEM innovators: Identifying and developing our nation’s human capital.  Shupla, C., Hawkins, I., Aponte-Hernandez, B., Peticolas, L. (2018) Authentic Partnerships for Engaging Diverse Audiences, ASP Conference Series Vol. 524, Astronomical Society of the Pacific.