Standing

Undergraduate

Type of Proposal

Other: (please identify)

Oral creative work presentation

Faculty

Faculty of Science

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Dora Cavallo-Medved

Abstract/Description of Original Work

Public policy is informed by many stakeholders and bodies of knowledge. As policies are needed for topics rooted in STEM such as climate change, AI, health, cybersecurity, etc., it is vital that knowledge translation between researchers and policymakers is prompt and efficient. The current 1–2-decade gap in knowledge acquisition and implementation is insufficient (Curran et al., 2011). Researchers and policymakers should not be two mutually exclusive groups. STEMxPolicy is a new student organization in the Faculty of Science’s USci Network based in student experiential learning and research. Our goal is to bridge the existing gap between STEM and policy by educating students about STEM policy, engaging them in policy-based discussions, and empowering them to become leaders in policymaking. Over the past year, we have hosted two panels and three “Snapshot Seminars” featuring expert panelists that have sparked thoughtful dialogue. The seminars have provided students an overview of the relevance of policy-making within STEM, field-specific considerations in constructing policy, and guided students to get involved. Social media has also been leveraged to circulate educational “Vlog Interviews” and “Hot Topic” posts and promote virtual events. Our work has created numerous student-faculty partnerships and engagement opportunities with high-profile speakers from large provincial and national organizations such as the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, and National Research Council. We anticipate that this model of connecting STEM and policy will translate into more STEM professionals being at the forefront of the policymaking process.

Curran, J. A., Grimshaw, J. M., Hayden, J. A., & Campbell, B. (2011). Knowledge translation research: The science of moving research into policy and practice. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 31(3), 174–180. https://doi.org/10.1002/chp.20124

Availability

March 29-31, 12-2:30 pm, April 1 1-1:30 pm, 2:30-3:00 pm

Special Considerations

All co-authors are presenters

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STEMxPolicy: An approach to empowering STEM students to become leaders in policymaking

Public policy is informed by many stakeholders and bodies of knowledge. As policies are needed for topics rooted in STEM such as climate change, AI, health, cybersecurity, etc., it is vital that knowledge translation between researchers and policymakers is prompt and efficient. The current 1–2-decade gap in knowledge acquisition and implementation is insufficient (Curran et al., 2011). Researchers and policymakers should not be two mutually exclusive groups. STEMxPolicy is a new student organization in the Faculty of Science’s USci Network based in student experiential learning and research. Our goal is to bridge the existing gap between STEM and policy by educating students about STEM policy, engaging them in policy-based discussions, and empowering them to become leaders in policymaking. Over the past year, we have hosted two panels and three “Snapshot Seminars” featuring expert panelists that have sparked thoughtful dialogue. The seminars have provided students an overview of the relevance of policy-making within STEM, field-specific considerations in constructing policy, and guided students to get involved. Social media has also been leveraged to circulate educational “Vlog Interviews” and “Hot Topic” posts and promote virtual events. Our work has created numerous student-faculty partnerships and engagement opportunities with high-profile speakers from large provincial and national organizations such as the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, and National Research Council. We anticipate that this model of connecting STEM and policy will translate into more STEM professionals being at the forefront of the policymaking process.

Curran, J. A., Grimshaw, J. M., Hayden, J. A., & Campbell, B. (2011). Knowledge translation research: The science of moving research into policy and practice. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 31(3), 174–180. https://doi.org/10.1002/chp.20124