How can we improve introductory STEM courses to create a stronger, more cross-disciplinary approach to teaching the foundations of STEM? In this workshop hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science – Improving Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative, speakers discuss their own experiences designing or redesigning introductory STEM courses. First, Dr. Alo Basu shares her experience and insights on the content and culture of undergraduate STEM from her experience auditing four introductory STEM courses and designing an integrative core curriculum for neuroscience. Next, Dr. Emily Borda discusses how to recognize characteristics and patterns across STEM disciplines to create more meaningful and cross-disciplinary introductory STEM courses. Overall, this workshop provides insights on how to strengthen introductory STEM courses, both by addressing content and culture from a student perspective and through cross-disciplinary curricula.