#ECC17 Workshops Announced

Hello everyone: We are pleased to announce the workshops for this year’s Educators of Color Conference on June 17, 2017 at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. There are still a few spots remaining for registration by clicking here

  1. The Calculus Project:  Re-envisioning the Brilliance of Students of Color in Mathematics, Dr. Adrian Mims, National Calculus Project Director

According to a recent study published in Research in Higher Education, majoring in STEM is the most profitable course of study for minority students, whether or not they pursue a STEM field professionally. However, many schools effectively block minority access to courses that prepare students to succeed in STEM majors. Pernicious policies and practices such as inconsistent course recommendations by teachers, rigid master schedules, lack of parent outreach, and failure to adequately engage and track students create barriers that filter the STEM pipeline. In this session, participants will draft a plan of action to eliminate these barriers, engage students and parents, and sustain a culture of high academic achievement so that all students have an equal opportunity to learn. Participants will develop replicable strategies for increasing the number of minority students who are prepared to pursue postsecondary careers in STEM.

2. Moving From Consumers to Creators with Gique’s Research-Based STEAM Programs Danielle Olson (MIT B.S. Computer Science & Engineering 2014, Current MIT Ph.D. Student in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science), Ashli Polanco (MIT B.S. Chemistry 2012, Current UMass Lowell Ph.D. Student in Chemical Engineering)

Are the needs of our talented young people being met in order to ensure a future of innovation? Although our students are taught school subjects in silos, we live in an interdisciplinary world and need our educational system to reflect that. We also need to tap into the potential of diverse communities to ensure the demands of our future innovation economy. Come learn about Gique’s research-backed educational programs in science, technology, engineering, art + design, and math (STEAM), aimed at tackling these issues. Gique is an MIT-based, non-profit 501(c)3 dedicated to creating a world that champions both the arts and sciences as creative outlets for developing well-rounded, passionate problem-solvers. Their organization designs creative, hands-on curricula, experiments, and activities to empower Greater Boston-area students from diverse circumstances with the passion and potential to succeed in STEAM.

3. Using Internships and Project (Problem) Based Learning to Improve Engagement and Enrichment in STEAM Education, Alin Bennett, Principal, The Met School (Possibly) 1-3 students in STEM centered internship sites

Experiential learning opportunities can serve as interventions for students of all levels and abilities. For those who have struggled in a traditional school setting, real-world learning experiences can help re-engage students by allowing them to see how content is relevant to the outside world. Those students who have excelled in school benefit from this practice because it allows for higher level thinking and application of content materials. When combined with Project/Problem Based Learning, these two practices can significantly impact student outcomes. In this workshop, participants will explore how students at the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center in Providence, RI are using these two strategies to help engage students and enrich learning in STEM for students in need. First, we will briefly explore the philosophical and pedagogical aspects of the Met School and Big Picture Learning. Next, participants will participant in an “from interest to project product activity” which will take them through the internship and project brainstorming process. Finally, participants will conduct resource mining of the Met School most regular used activities to see if any of the processes or materials would be beneficial to their own practice.

4. Combating Islamophobia in STEAM fields and Society: Sub/Urban Justice Teen Leaders Nada Alaeddin – Brookline High School; Iman Khan – Brookline High School; Iman Ali – Commonwealth School; Sara Arman – Tufts University

Islamophobia, like all systems of oppression, affect us negatively in our daily lives – including in STEAM programming and workplaces. Led by Muslim teens, this workshop will define Islamophobia, explore how Islamophobia plays out in and and out of school setting, breakdown important policy, and offer action steps and an opportunity for reflection. Activities are interactive and will include small group conversation, small movement activities (easily modifiable) and personal reflection.

5. Innovative Strategies Engaging Black Girls in STEM, LaShawnda Lindsay-Dennis, Ph.D., Wellesley College, Wellesley Centers for Women

Black Girls CREATE (BGC) is a culturally responsive STEM program that incorporates culturally relevant pedagogy, fashion design, and engineering.  BGC seeks to increase Black girls’ interest and exposure in STEM.  BGC encourages identity exploration through graphic design and digital fabrication. This program provides girls with opportunities to develop meaningful mentoring relationships with “guides to success” (i.e. college students from similar backgrounds and a safe space for identity exploration, social support extension, and technological capacity building. This workshop will engage participants in a discussion about how Black Girls Create, a culturally responsive maker program designed for Black girls, may affect their interest and attitudes about STEM. This workshop will identify strengths and challenges associated with developing partnerships to design and implement this type of program.

6. Circuit Stickers Workshop, Fay Shaw, Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach

Circuit Stickers combine familiar craft materials with technology to make STEM projects. Limited to 20 participants. Fay will provide a brief  introduction to electronics, followed by a workshop that showcases her e-textiles work where individuals can play with a variety of soft circuit and wearable technology projects and  make their own. Fay’s kits, including a firefly, luna moth, jelly fish, and s pair of hearts, are currently available online. Each kit includes felt, thread, and stuffing as well as and LED, photoresistor, resistor and battery pack.

7. STEAM in Afterschool: How Design Thinking Helped Create a More Inclusive Afterschool Community, Maria Gionfriddo, Director of Co-Curricular Programs at Shady Hill School

As innovation replaces knowledge-based economics, we must continuously question and re-imagine how we prepare students for the future. In this workshop, we will look at how STEAM Education and Design Thinking have helped transform Shady Hill School’s Afterschool Program. By partnering with other educational institutions such as NASA, The Museum of Science, The Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and the New England Aquarium, we have developed engaging opportunities for students without any additional cost to Afterschool families. To end our session, we will work through the Design Thinking Process together and rapid prototype games out of lunch bags and other low cost materials. Attending this workshop will help attendees think through how to extend STEAM opportunities to a diverse range of students in afterschool time.

8. Easy Robotics and Coding with mBots, Dr. Michele Goe, Quantopian

Participants in this workshop will learn how to implement a 2-week robotics curriculum in their science, math, advisory, foreign language, or humanities class. The workshop will introduce participants to mBots, $50 robots that can be built and customized with Scratch or Audrino code. The facilitator will share her 6 years of experience in teaching code to students from K-12 with an exploratory approach. This approach focuses on developing computational thinking using small hands-on problem sets and white-boarding. This approach, particularly with the use of Scratch, does not require the teacher nor the student to have previous experience with coding. Educators in this workshop will build their own robot, decide what they would like to program, and then code the bot. This mirrors the work teachers will do with their students. Students who work with mBots practice many skills including self-reliance, creativity, critical thinking, and team work skills. Educators will walk away with ideas for 10-day curriculum to implement in their classrooms. Participants will also be provided a successful template to write a fund proposal for a classroom set of robots on donorschoose.org

There’s still time to register! Click here and join us on June 17!

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