Useful Links for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Networks

Here are some websites with advice for building online communities:

Community Building Resources: Transforming Assumptions Into Success by Victoria Bernal with links at is a good place to start.

Another useful introduction is Seven Steps to Building Electronic Communities by Philippa Gamse and Terry Grunwald (

A flow chart at provides a different set of seven steps to building electronic communities.

Particularly aimed at educators is Electronic Collaboration: A Practical Guide for Educators at, intended to inform educators about the benefits and challenges of building a collaborative virtual space.

A collaboratory is a distributed research center in which scientists in several locations are able to work together with the assistance of communication and collaboration technologies ( An introduction to the science of collaboratories can be found at

The Alliance for Regional Stewardship at is a model of a network of regional networks in public administration.

Books to read

Amy Jo Kim's Community Building on the Web : Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities and Derek M. Powazek's Design for Community: The Art of Connecting Real People in Virtual Places.

Science for All Americans (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1990) can be found at

The Challenge and Promise of K-8 Science Education Reform (Foundations Volume 1: A monograph for professionals in science, mathematics, and technology education, NSF, 1997) can be found at

Recent national reports

PKAL's new Report on Reports is a gateway to national reports on STEM issues, including the following:

Before It's Too Late: A Report to the National from the National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century (the Glenn Commission Report) at

Building a Workforce for the Information Economy at

Ensuring a Strong US Scientific, Technical, and Engineering Workforce in the 21st Century at

Partnering to Build A Quality Workforce: Critical Issues in Environmental Technology Education at Two-Year Colleges at

Roadmap for National Security: Imperative for Change at

Science and Engineering Indicators - 2002 at

The following websites are about using the web to enhancing educational opportunities:

MERLOT - Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching ( MERLOT is a free and open resource designed primarily for faculty and students of higher education. Links to online learning materials are collected here along with annotations such as peer reviews and assignments.

The following websites of networks relate to improvement of undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education:

  1. Science NetLinks ( provides a wealth of peer-reviewed resources ( organized by national standards and grade levels (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12). Particularly important are the marked Educational Super Sites. Although designed for K-12, the links are also very useful for undergraduate science education as well.

  2. Association of Women in Science ( AWIS resources, including publications, job listings, advertisements and mentoring programs, support women in science.

  3. Council on Undergraduate Research ( CUR supports and promotes high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship. The CUR-Listserv ( posts messages of interest to faculty involved in undergraduate research.

  4. It's About Time, Inc. ( has standards-based earth science, physics and math curricula for middle school through high school. It offers listserves for each of its products: Active Physics, EarthComm, Investigating Earth Systems, Active Chemistry, Active Chemistry Pilot and MATH Connections.

  5. Mentor Net ( the national electronic industrial mentoring network for women in engineering and science links male and female professionals in industry engaged in scientific and technical work as mentors to undergraduate and graduate women studying science, math, and engineering.

  6. National Science Teachers Association ( NSTA is committed to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. Building a Presence for Science ( is an NSTA initiative seeking to strengthen the quality of science teaching by ending teacher isolation and promoting standards-based science teaching and learning through a national electronic network for information sharing among science teachers.

  7. Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science ( provides engineers, scientists, and science and engineering students with resources for understanding and addressing ethically significant problems that arise in their work, and to serve those who are promoting learning and advancing the understanding of responsible research and practice in science and engineering.

  8. Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER): SENCER connects science and civic engagement by teaching "through" complex, capacious and unsolved public issues, such as natural catastrophes, water quality, HIV disease, the Human Genome Project, energy alternatives, and nuclear disarmament.

  9. Serendip ( Serendip is both an expanding forum and a continually developing set of resources to explore and support intellectual and social change in education, in social organization... and in how one makes sense of life. In addition to good philosophical and pedagogical overviews, it has useful links in a variety of disciplines.

  10. Teaching, Learning, and Technology Group (American Association of Higher Education) ( TLT-SWG (formerly AAHESGIT) is a highly moderated electronic discussion group focused on issues of teaching, learning, technology and educational change.

  11. The National Learning Communities Project ( strives to strengthen curricular learning community efforts on individual campuses, as well as to foster more robust communities of learning community practice.

The following websites focus on specific disciplines:


  1. Association for Biology Laboratory Education ( ABLE seeks to improve the undergraduate biology laboratory experience by promoting the development and dissemination of interesting, innovative, and reliable laboratory exercises. It has a particularly good set of links to "hot" biology websites at

  2. Genome Consortium for Active Teaching ( GCAT brings functional genomic methods into undergraduate curriculum primarily through student research.

  3. Research Link 2000 ( is a CUR project to bring together biology faculty from colleges and universities to select, develop and disseminate a group of field-tested, research-based systems and instructional materials for introductory biology courses.


  1. Multi-Initiative Dissemination Project ( MID introduces faculty to the four NSF systemic-change initiatives in Chemistry.

  2. Younger Chemist Committee of the American Chemical Society ( was formed to identify the needs and concerns of younger chemists (under age 35) and to develop programs responsive to their needs, including a message board and individual mentoring.


  1. Digital Library for Earth Science Education (DLESE) ( aims to improve the quality, quantity, and efficiency of teaching and learning about the Earth system by developing, managing, and providing access to high quality educational resources and supporting services through a community-based, distributed digital library.

  2. North American Association for Environmental Education: ( NAAEE, a network of professionals, students, and volunteers working in the field of environmental education takes a cooperative, non-confrontational, scientifically-balanced approach to promoting education about environmental issues. EE-Link ( is a comprehensive website for exploring environmental education on the Internet.


  1. EXTEND ( is a national Internet forum on mathematics education. Ongoing discussions surround access, expectations, articulation, integration, and numeracy.

  2. Mathematical Association of America Department Liaison Program ( links mathematics departments across the nation with the MAA, distributing information about MAA's services and programs including new publications, electronic services, professional development activities, programs for students, women and minorities, and meetings.


  1. The Association for Neuroscience Departments and Programs ( is the umbrella organization of graduate schools and undergraduate neuroscience programs in which issues at systemic levels of education are frequently studied (e.g., hiring patterns in undergraduate neuroscience programs, growth of programs, etc.).

  2. Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience ( FUN represents the concerns of neuroscientists who have particular interest in teaching neuroscience at undergraduate colleges and universities.


  1. Physlets, Physics Applets, ( are Java applets designed for science education. Also available is a Physlets list-serve.

  2. PhysTEC ( is a project to improve the science preparation of future K-12 teachers. It aims to help physics and education faculty work together to provide an education for future teachers that emphasizes a student-centered, hands-on, inquiry-based approach to learning science.

The following websites focus on specific regions or states:

  1. California Learning Community College Network ( Through a developing network of regional centers at California Community Colleges, the CLCCN strives to provide useful support and tools to faculty and administration who are developing, improving, or expanding learning communities - especially at California Community Colleges.

  2. Middle Atlantic Discovery Chemistry Project ( MADCP brings together interested faculty from over 20 colleges in the Middle Atlantic region to promote the incorporation of "guided inquiry" or "discovery" learning into the chemistry programs of the various institutions.

  3. Midwestern Association of Chemistry Teachers in Liberal Arts Colleges ( MACTLAC brings together teachers of chemistry in the liberal arts colleges of the North Central region of the United States (Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri) for exchange of ideas and for general mutual helpfulness in their profession.

  4. New England Association of Chemistry Teachers ( NEACT aims to promote the teaching of chemistry through divisional meetings, summer conferences, and a list serve (

  5. The Ohio Project: Collaborating to Enhance Undergraduate Science Education ( brings together faculty from Ohio's colleges and universities to discuss projects to improve under-graduate science education and to disseminate the benefits to all the campuses.

  6. The Regional Educational Laboratories ( are educational research and development organizations supported by contracts with the U.S. Education Department, Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI).

  7. Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy ( SARA is a consortium of universities in the southeastern United States which have relatively small departments of astronomy and physics, and whose faculty members are all actively engaged in astronomical research. SARA operates a 0.9-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory and conducts summer undergraduate research programs.

Useful Links for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Networks is produced by Project Kaleidoscope. If you have a website that you feel should be included, please email Dennis Marks, PKAL Senior Associate for Networks, at