Ohio State researchers awarded NSF grant to study Black male participation in STEM

Black male doing scientific research in a lab

Ohio State researchers awarded NSF grant to study Black male participation in STEM

Researchers at The Ohio State University, the University of South Florida, and the National Academy Foundation, including Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion Dr. James L. Moore III, have been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for their project, “Facilitating Pathways to Success for High-Achieving Pre-Collegiate African American Males in STEM.” The grant is for nearly $1.5 million and will be funded for three years starting in September 2020.

Compared to their white male counterparts, African American males are commonly underrepresented in STEM. Much of the current research on African American male students' STEM experiences focuses on college students and those who are low achieving or underachieving in STEM. The investigators' research project examines how participation in high school career academies may help to promote STEM pathways for high-achieving (students with a 3.5 GPA or higher), low-income African American male students.

Investigators plan to study school support, schooling experiences, academic engagement, course-taking patterns, and family support systems of high-achieving African American male students. In addition to providing narratives of how African American male students succeed in high school and in STEM, the research project will pinpoint those factors supporting the STEM participation and success of high-achieving, low-income African American males participating in high school STEM academies.

Research findings may potentially help the STEM community identify the different positive and negative challenges that low-income, African American males experience in high school, especially those who are high achieving. Additionally, the findings have implications beyond the African American males in the study; they have applicability to other African American males, as well as other groups underrepresented in STEM.

The research will be conducted by:

  • Principal Investigator: Edward C. Fletcher, Ohio State University
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Victor M. Hernandez-Gantes, University of South Florida
  • Co-Principal Investigator: James L. Moore III, Ohio State University
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Nicholas J. Minar, National Academy Foundation
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Barbara J. Boone, Ohio State University

The project is supported by the EHR Core Research (ECR) program, which supports work that advances fundamental research on STEM learning and learning environments, broadening participation in STEM, and STEM workforce development.