Preparing the next generation of scientists

The importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) training at the K-12 and collegiate level has become the focus of a national movement to reform education. The National Science Foundation and other research and education institutions, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have provided strategic funding for programs that target undergraduate students, students from underrepresented backgrounds, as well as honors students’ research experiences with STEM scientists at institutes of higher education.  Both the National Academy of Science (NAS) and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) include the idea of STEM education in their strategic plans to prepare the next generation of scientists in the fields of  food, agriculture, natural resources, and related sciences. This includes purposeful integration of student learning with the research and extension missions of the land-grant system and their interaction with related agencies, industry and related organizations. The APLU study specifically recommends the creation of “AG*STEM Programsto enhance the teaching of agricultural, natural and related sciences within broad science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) throughout the education system. Strengthen pre-collegiate preparation and encourage pre-collegiate high school students to pursue and complete a baccalaureate or higher degree in the food and agricultural sciences.”

Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU). 2009. Human Capacity Development: the Road to Global Competitiveness and Leadership in Food, Agriculture, Natural resources, and Related Sciences (FANRRS). Washington, DC: Office of Public Affairs, APLU. Available online:

Research Council’s (NRC). 2009. Transforming Agricultural Education for a Changing World. Washington, D.C.: The National Academy press. Available online:


OSU-based STEM Related Societies and Programs

Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS ) National Society
Coordinator: Wanda Crannell
Participants: Students in MANRRS chapter at OSU

Program Description:  The National MANRRS Society offers students opportunities to enhance leadership, organizational, and public speaking skills and to experience professional critique of scholarly work in a “user friendly” environment and provides a framework for the academic, professional and social development of underrepresented students within the fields of agriculture, forestry, natural resources, life sciences, and related fields through mentorship, leadership, scholarship, research, community service, and professional development activities.



Multicultural Scholars Program (MSP)

Coordinators: Wanda Crannell / Kate Field
Participants: Students in BRR and OSU MANRRS Chapter
Program Description:  Mentoring program funded by H. Summers Endowment and Scholarship program funded by USDA



Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)

Coordinators: Dana Sanchez / Wanda Crannell
Participants:  Students/Students, Student/Faculty/Staff

Program Description: SACNAS is a society of scientists dedicated to fostering the success of Hispanic/Chicano and Native American scientists—from college students to professionals—to attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in science. SACNAS is committed to growing the society. SACNAS fosters the success of Hispanic/Chicano and Native American scientists, from college students to professionals, by:encouraging and supporting SACNAS society undergraduate and graduate students in pursuing and attaining advanced degrees;encouraging and supporting SACNAS society postdocs and professionals in attaining successful careers and positions of leadership in science; informing and advocating for public policies and governmental funding that support the advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans and lead to the building of a large and diverse U.S. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce.



Science & Math Investigative Learning Experiences (SMILE)

Coordinator: Ryan Collay, Director
Participants:  K-12 students and teachers

Program Description: SMILE is a precollege program at Oregon State University that fosters student aspirations, preparations, and access to higher education. SMILE works in partnership with thirteen Oregon school districts, in mostly rural communities, to increase the number of minority, low income, historically underrepresented, and other educationally underserved students who graduate from high school, qualified to go onto college, and pursue careers in science, math, engineering, health care, and teaching.


Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning

Coordinator: John Falk, current Director (open Search for Director)
Participants:  OSU faculty and students, K-12 students and teachers

Program Description: The Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning was established in 2012 with a mission to enhance understanding of how individuals with diverse life circumstances and identities become lifelong STEM learners, practitioners and researchers.  The OSU Center is unique among STEM center counterparts in its focus on research and commitment to understanding learning across all settings (in and out of school) and across the lifespan. Our vision of STEM learning research is centered on an appreciation that learners of all ages develop the understanding of STEM content and practices over many years in and out of school using a wide variety of community resources and networks.  STEM learning is rarely, if ever, instantaneous. Individuals acquire understanding through an accumulation of experiences from different sources at different times. The OSU STEM Center is committed to expanding the frame for investigating STEM learning in recognition of the contingent, interdependent, lifelong and diverse experiences that support an individual’s engagement with STEM.



College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP)

Coordinator: Miguel Santiago
Participants:  OSU Students /Faculty

Program Description: Federally funded program designed to support students from migrant and seasonal farm worker backgrounds during their freshmen year in college.  Focuses on academic assistance.



Lois Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP)

Coordinator: Marleigh Luster-Perez
Participants:  STEM-related students/faculty

Program Description: (LSAMP) is dedicated to increasing the quality and quantity of traditionally underrepresented students successfully completing science and engineering baccalaureate degree programs. At the same time, LSAMP is working to increase the number of students interested in and qualified for graduate level studies.

The LSAMP program at Oregon State seeks to integrate students into the academic life of their institution and into their chosen discipline in a way that will foster growth and success.  Students are provided with financial, academic, social, and professional support in a coordinated effort to help them achieve their academic and professional goals. The LSAMP Summer Scholars program is a FREE bridge program for incoming underrepresented minority students (URM) enrolling in a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) related major at OSU. LSAMP is focused on increasing the retention rate of these students and getting them engaged in their academics at OSU as well as creating a community of diverse scholars.