January Expert Panel: Broadening Participation in STEM through Community Engagement

Recorded January 13, 2020 at 1:30PM EST

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Description: This month’s theme focuses on ways that community engagement can support broadening of participation in STEM. We have selected 10 Video presentations that represent three different strategies: 1) students engaging in STEM authentic community problems, 2) intergenerational learning experiences, and 3) students learning about themselves as part of their communities. The resources and blog post set the stage, the expert panel, moderated by Dr. Megan Bang, explores the impact of these different strategies. You are all invited to join the discussion




Megan Bang

Megan Bang (Ojibwe and Italian decent) is a Professor of the Learning Sciences and Psychology at Northwestern University and is currently serving as the Senior Vice President at the Spencer Foundation. Dr. Bang’s research focuses on understanding culture, learning, and development broadly with a specific focus on the complexities of navigating multiple meaning systems in creating and implementing more effective and just learning environments in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics education. Megan approaches her work through rigorous mixed methods – utilizing experimental design in her foundational cognition and development studies, to community based participatory design work in which she co-designs learning and teaching with communities, families, educators and youth as well as engages in the collaborative study of such environments. She conducts research in both schools and informal settings. She has taught in and conducted research in teacher education as well as leadership preparation programs. She is currently serving on the Board of Science Education at the National Academy of Sciences and the editorial boards of several top journals



Bobby Wilson

Bobby Wilson is CEO and Founder of Metro Atlanta Urban Farm (MAUF) in College Park, GA. MAUF is a community-based informal STEM learning program that exposes students to different career pathways in science using agriculture as the tool to broaden and enhance their science learning experience. Bobby has a degree in agriculture education from Alcorn State University. He invested 25 years with the University of Georgia as a county extension agent. In addition to providing exposure to youth, Bobby uses agriculture as a way to organize communities around common issues that impact them the most--social, economic and health due to lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables. For the past seven years, Bobby has been actively engaged in youth and community educational programs through Cornell University.

Liz M. Díaz-Vázquez

Dr. Liz M. Díaz-Vázquez is an associate professor and researcher at the Chemistry Department of the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus (UPRRP). Currently she is the acting chair of the Chemistry Department and the co-director of the NSF-CREST Center of Innovation Research, and Education in Environmental Nanotechnology (CIRE2N). She also is the co-director of the NASA- Puerto Rico Space partnership for Research Innovation and Training. Recently she has become the outreach and education coordinator of the NSF-EPSCoR Center for the Advancement of Wearable Technology (CAWT) at UPRRP. Dr. Díaz-Vázquez research focuses on environmental analytical chemistry, nanotechnology and science education. During her career she has explored different strategies to improve scientist and student’s science communication skills. She has over ten years of experience implementing programs to Broaden Participation through Community Engagement and is the editor of the magazine Nanoambiente, which was designed to promote science at communities and at K-12 education.

Carrie Tzou

Dr. Carrie Tzou is an associate professor in science education in the School of Educational Studies and the director of the Goodlad Institute for Educational Renewal at the University of Washington Bothell. Her work applies sociocultural theories of learning and identity formation and methods from anthropology, psychology, and design-based research to understand how best to support learners’ STEM-linked identities and center their cultural and linguistic resources within the context of science and environmental science learning. She focuses on “desettling” normative Western views and epistemologies of science, emphasizing the need to invite a heterogeneity of knowledge systems into all learning settings. This entails co-designing learning settings with multiple stakeholders (formal & informal educators, community organizations, families and youth) that seek to make visible and center this heterogeneity, connecting learners’ identities and cultural practices to STEM learning.

C. Brandon Ogbunu

C. Brandon Ogbunu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University. His research interests are in disease evolution, computational biology, and epidemiology. In addition to his basic science research, he has been involved in several projects at the intersection between science education and cultural engagement.