Through I CAN STEM, the NJSPN aims to increase the diversity of New Jersey’s STEM workforce and academic pipelines. I CAN STEM highlights diverse STEM role models so that all students will be able to see themselves participating and succeeding in STEM courses and careers. Each year, 12 I CAN STEM New Jersey Role Models are highlighted, one each month.
The NJSPN features both historical and famous I CAN STEM Role Models, such as physicist Shirley Ann Jackson, mathematician Alberto Calderón, and molecular biologist Flossie Wong-Staal, as well as I CAN STEM New Jersey Role Models representing people of color, LGBTQ+ community members and women who work in a STEM field here in New Jersey .
The I CAN STEM New Jersey Role Models were identified through an online nomination process. Nominations for 2023 are closed and nominations for 2024 will begin in September. Anyone can submit a nomination that meets the diversity criteria and works in New Jersey in a STEM field.
The NJSPN was created in 2014 and is managed by the Research & Development Council for New Jersey. It includes over 500 STEM leaders from across the State and connects all STEM stakeholders-K-12, higher education, non-profit, informal providers, business, philanthropists and government. NJSPN has six STEM learning ecosystems as part of an international network of ecosystems supported by the STEM Funders’ Network.