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Paper: We Belong in STEM: Student-Created Scientist Spotlights
Volume: 533, ASP 2021: Sharing Best Practices – AstronomyTeaching and Public Engagement
Page: 152
Authors: Goering, A.
Abstract: Scientist Spotlights are assignments which introduce students to counter-stereotypical STEM role models. In the traditional Spotlight approach, students review the biography and work of specific scientists, then write a critical reflection on what they learned. Spotlights are shown to support sense of belonging and science identity formation, which can improve persistence and success in STEM. While public materials are available for instructor use (at, the prepared Spotlights are limited for astronomy. Student-created Spotlights are one way to provide more materials for instructors to draw on. They are also a valuable pedagogical tool on their own, as they help students to sharpen their research skills and draw connections between scientists' work and course themes. Finally, student-created Spotlights can provide the basis for a classroom conversation on diversity in STEM. I will describe my approach for curating student-created Spotlights, and invite you to join me in collaborating with students to broaden the representation of astronomers from a wide range of backgrounds.
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