Dr. Dieuwertje Kast is the Director of STEM Education Programs for the University of Southern California’s (USC) Joint Educational Project. Through her efforts, she has provided STEM instruction to over 30,000 underrepresented minority students, 600 educators, 25 school principals, and countless community members. She coordinates supplemental science programs in Los Angeles for low income elementary school students of color across a gamut of schools through JEP’s STEM Education Programs: Wonderkids,Young Scientists Program, and the Medical STEM Program.
In terms of her educational background, she has a Bachelors of Biology with a minor in Nonprofits, Philanthropy, and Volunteerism, a Masters in Marine Environmental Biology, a Masters in Arts and Teaching, and a Doctorate of Education in Teacher Education in Multicultural Societies (TEMS). Her doctorate research was focused on preparing elementary school teachers how to integrate science and technology into their classrooms in a culturally relevant manner.
She has also partnered with the Mayor’s office Women in STEM Los Angeles (WiSTEM LA) group and has hosted events & programming for them and received funding for her educational equity work from the Los Angeles Mayor’s office. She has also hosted Project Scientist, a summer science camp for girls at USC, and worked to include scholarships for low-income students of color to participate in the program. For her work in educational equity and DEI in STEM, she has received the Forbes 30 under 30 in Science Award in 2016, North American Association for Environmental Education “EE 30 under 30” Award in 2016, The National Association of Geoscience Teachers – Far Western Section (NAGT-FWS) Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Award (2017), International STEM Education Association Mike Neden STEM Champion Award (2017), and the USC Rossier Second Century Alumni Award – an award for rising stars in their fields that support educational equity (2019). She has published in dozens of journals on culturally relevant STEM curriculum and instructional activities.
She also volunteers with Ernest Everett Just (EE Just)- a program dedicated to bringing Black youth into marine biology and the USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative (USC NAI) where she teaches research methods to first generation high school Latinx students with expeditions to Catalina Island and research symposiums. She was also the co-chair of the Expanding Audiences Committee of the National Marine Education Association (NMEA) from 2013 to 2020.
Her work makes an impactful difference by leveling the playing field in STEM for low-income students of color in the Los Angeles area.
- Ed.D. Teacher Education in Multicultural Societies (TEMS) in STEM, University of Southern California, 2020
- M.A. Masters of Arts and Teaching (MAT) and Single Subject Science Credential for Middle School and High School, University of Southern California, 2014
- M.S. Marine Environmental Biology, University of Southern California, 2011
- B.S. Biological Sciences with a minor in Non-Profits, Philanthropy, and Volunteerism, University of Southern California, 2011