Pronouns! Have your students introduce themselves by including their pronouns, and request they include them in media and zoom appearances. Allow that recognition that someone may not identify with their external appearance.
When giving examples or sample questions about topics that include the use of a person, remove gendered statements (“she” filled up the cup to the 1 liter line vs. “someone/they” filled up the cup to the 1 liter line). Additionally, use names of people from different cultural backgrounds so more students will see a reflection of themselves in STEM situations.
For inclusivity in smaller classrooms where you include group work, try to place students in group pairings based on incoming preparation. Students tend to divide and conquer group work instead of working together in normal situations. By placing students together with different preparation levels we open the door wider for collaboration in order to understand the materials. This helps to develop a sense of inclusivity and community in the STEM project environment.
Recognizing identity is very important for many STEM students. The social process of identifying with those who have gone before you as it relates to your heritage and background is very important. Include lesser known facts of history by explaining a bit more on the background of figures that include diversity and inclusivity. For example, did you know the chemist John Dalton was color-blind?
Lastly and perhaps most importantly, don’t shy away from addressing issues in the classroom! Foster the notion of rightful presence, where students can bring their knowledge of their community to your classroom. Let them elevate that voice in the context of the concept that they are learning by asking them how it impacts various communities.