Engaging diverse learners in STEM education Angela Calabrese Barton Shari RoseMichigan State University
Carmen TurnerBoys and Girls Club of Lansing
Support from the National Science Foundation DRL # 0737642October 8, 2009
Framing a context for participation in STM in the urban setting
Stories and Counterstories of youth learning and engagement in science in high-poverty, urban communities.
Story: There is an under representation of women and minorities in STEM at every stage in pipeline (National Academies, 2007).
Counterstory: Jason and Carl with the River City Mayor. The students were a conducting a self-initiated survey for the Mayors office on what River City residents knew about the citys Go Green Initiative.
Counterstory: I can do this too. Be an engineer. Im getting the science and math and computer skills I need. That is me one day (Kara, 2008).
Story: Low-income and minority students show less interest in science (PISA, 2008).
Counter storySkool is boring cuz I cant be me. --Boss Doss, 2007Show that part of the movie where I am the funky, funky scientist. --Boss Doss, 2007Boss Doss took 96 photographs of the UHI effect during a 2 hour data collection session down town. Not a single photo was of her friends, or silly, goofy picture. All focused intently on the UHI phenomenon and its impact on the River City community. (Fieldnotes, July, 2007)
Cindy: Our data showed that River City shows an urban heat island effect downtown. How come no one has heard of it?
Story: Many urban teachers hold deficit views of who urban youth are and what they bring to learning (McIntyre, 1997).
Counterstory: Ok, I like the people to think of me as a smart intelligent person that knows what shes talking about. And, and to think that shes very smart and intelligent. Interview, Fall 2007
Learning from youthWhen we juxtapose story with counterstory, we can begin to see how some urban youth construct learning experiences in science in ways that position them with knowledge, power and agency
Year-round program, meets twice a week 40 youth per year, grades ages 10-14Summer Intensive ProgramField Trips and Career AwarenessParental InvolvementEngineer Mentors Community Share FairsGET City
Boys and Girls Club of River City40-year history of serving the River City communityServes over 250 students per day from low-income and predominantly minority backgrounds, year-roundRecently received grants from local foundations to fund a Mobile Learning Lab enabling wireless laptop technology for youth and parentsOffers homework help, sports and leadership programs
Curriculum Overview for Cohort 1
Summer 2007: How healthy is Lansing: Is Lansing an Urban Heat IslandFall 2007: Do we have an energy crisis?Winter 2008: Web site designSpring 2008 Part 1: Taking Action!Spring 2007 Part 2: Creating Community Awareness: Earth Day Exhibition at City HallSpring 2007, Part 3: Go Green Go Lansing: What do Lansing residents know and do?Summer 2008: Topic: 100 mile diet: Eating, Energy, and Environmental Sustainability
Curriculum Overview for Cohort 2
Fall 2008, Part: Community Building ActivitiesFall 2008, The New Green EconomyWinter 2009, Alternative Energies: What are they and where do they come from?Spring, 2009, Should Lansing build a new coal/biomass hybrid power plant?Summer, 2009, Green Roofs: The Club and BeyondFall, 2009, A Michigan Energy Solution: Personal Practice & Global ChallengesFall, 2009, Becoming Energy AmbassadorsSpring 2010, One Voice Many Voices: Environmental and Social Justice
IT Skill development
IT skill development
Strategies for youth participation
Developing local investigations that allow youth to connect content and skills with their community.Finding out and then incorporating the values and concerns that youth bring to energy-related issues and using them as starting points for investigations. Modeling acceptance of youth culture and encouraging and making space for youth to bring youth culture into GET City. Positioning youth as experts in their community and providing them opportunities to see how and where they can use various forums to educate the public. (see handout)
*Sharing clip because:Shows how students position themselves with knowledge, power, and authority. I think this is particularly important because this is a middle school that is underresourced, serves a high poverty and minority population - and thus is a school where kids are often positioned without power or authority. I think the sound selection is also compelling because it makes claims to how they view lives within their school and community.The video was created by a group of 5 6th graders who were making a video about life and science in the city and what they wanted their teachers to know. It was part of a tradition in the school where 6th grade students made a video meant to educate their teachers and peers and on life and science in the city.**********