Abstract: This study investigates a university-community partnership focused on broadening participation for girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Stakeholders across partner organizations (an informal learning community organization and a public research university) call the success and longevity of the collaboration “magic” because of the commitment required to maintain it despite partnership complexities and few formal incentives. Using qualitative inquiry and sensemaking/sensegiving frameworks, this article elucidates the “magic” behind the partnership. Findings emphasize individual motivations and behaviors, program collaboration obstacles, and collective partner- ship identity impacting the program’s sustainability (i.e., magic). This study can inform research and practice related to improving access into STEM pathways for underrepresented populations through education partnerships that often experience resource constraints alongside the organizational complexities of cross-sector engagement.
Citation: Mwangi, C.A.G., Bettencourt, G.M., Wells, R.S., Dunton, S.T., Kimball, E.W., Pachucki, M.C., Dasgupta, N. and Thoma, H.S., 2023. Demystifying the Magic: Investigating the Success of University-Community Partnerships for Broadening Participation in STEM. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 29(1): 87-109.