How it Works

An Overview

Our Network Makes It Easy For:


to create engaging STEM learning and outreach experiences

Scientists & Researchers

to implement, document, and measure broader impacts

K-12 Schools & Districts

to increase student interest and proficiency in STEM by developing and maintaining effective learning partnerships


to implement sustainable, high quality broader impact programs



Nick LaFave, Founder

Nick LaFave


Nick is an Environmental Science teacher at Clover High School and was previously the 2012-2013 Clover School District Teacher of the Year. With nearly 20 years of teaching experience, Nick is an Apple Distinguished Educator, National Board Certified Teacher, a PolarTREC Teacher, an outdoor educator, and an education consultant and speaker. During the summer of 2012, Nick spent six weeks living in the Arctic as part of a research team through PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating). This experience created even more connections and opportunities to meet and work with teachers and scientists from literally all over the world. These experiences had a large impact on his teaching by showing him the importance of connecting students with real research and actual science. A leader in Educational Technology, Nick regularly speaks on the local, national, and international level. Passionate about helping teachers create engaging learning experiences with technology, Nick shares instructional technology resources through and as a regular contributor to other education sites. Combining his experiences in educational technology and science outreach, Nick developed Broader Impacts in Science and STEM Education to make it easy for educators and universities to connect students to researchers and create meaningful STEM learning experiences for students everywhere.  Learn more about Nick.

Michael Thompson

Institutionalized Support

Michael Thompson obtained a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology from Saint Joseph’s College. He received his MS in Biochemistry and a PhD in Chemistry from Purdue University. Dr. Thompson's research involved manipulation of sinapoylated compounds and genetic sequences in the sinapate ester biosynthetic pathway and on Chemistry Education and aspects of Engineering Education during the completion of his PhD. Prior to joining the University of Oklahoma (OU) he was the Education and Outreach Coordinator for Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), Institute of Environmental Health (IEH), and the NSF Science and Technology Center (STC) for Coastal Margin Observation & Prediction (CMOP). During that time he worked with industry, faculty, nonprofits, and students connecting them at many levels and in many ways to help them complete their broader impacts.  Michael is the Founding Director of the Broader Impacts in Research (BIR) organization at the University of Oklahoma.


Marshall G. Jones

Marshall G. Jones

Institutionalized Support

Dr. Marshall G. Jones is a Professor of Educational Technology and the Senior Director for Learning Technologies and Graduate Studies in the Richard W. Riley College of Education at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC, USA. Dr. Jones teaches graduate courses in Educational Technology and undergraduate courses in technology integration. His research interests and consulting experience include project evaluation, instructional design, mobile learning, elearning, the design and development of constructivist learning environments, emerging technologies, learning analytics and new media. Dr. Jones has published over seventy articles and has made more than ninety presentations in the field of Instructional Technology. Dr. Jones was the inaugural Bank of America Professor of Education at Winthrop University and is an invited speaker on issues related to technology and learning both nationally and internationally. When he is not working, Dr. Jones enjoys running, playing guitar, writing music, and spending time with family and friends. Dr. Jones can be reached at, or through his website, You can also follow him on Twitter: @marshallgjones.