16:13 PM

UHCL prof receives science education fellowship, aims to advance women in STEM


University of Houston-Clear Lake’s Assistant Professor of STEM Education Carol Waters has received the 2023 Basu Fellowship from the National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST).

NARST, a global organization for improving science education through research, will host an international science educators’ conference in April in Chicago. Waters will work with the Equity and Ethics committee as well as give two presentations.

In her statement for application for the fellowship, Waters said that as a female from a struggling, single-income background, she had learned to become mindful of students’ needs to be heard, validated and encouraged.

“In the world in which I grew up, math and science fields were all dominated by white males," Waters said.  "I was in a family of eight, growing up in a low socio-economic background, not realizing we did not have access to the same resources as others. My goal ultimately is to create a network for girls in STEM, and have the perseverance to be successful, no matter their background.”

Waters teaches students in the College of Education who are pursuing undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. She said she knew many of her students on all levels at UH-Clear Lake also faced many challenges in completing their education. “We all have experiences; it’s about looking at diverse backgrounds and not just ethnicity,” she said.

She said that as one of the fellows, the Equality and Ethics committee would be working to develop them to become better, stronger researchers and leaders in the community.

“I’ll be learning from others around the nation and the world about their struggles and challenges, which will help me learn more about diverse populations,” she said. “How can I better relate to them? We also have students from around the world and the nation, and we might not all be exposed to the same challenges. I think this experience will open my eyes to a whole new world, to things I didn’t think about.”

Waters will be also presenting at the conference; her research studies focus on female perceptions of STEM in higher education, and environmental education and climate change.

For more information about UHCL's College of Education, go online.