1. Ji Shen
  2. https://sites.google.com/site/shenresearch/Home
  3. Associate Professor
  5. University of Miami
  1. Blaine Smith
  2. https://www.coe.arizona.edu/blaine-e-smith
  3. Assistant Professor
  5. University of Arizona

Integrating STEM and Digital Literacies with Adolescents

NSF Awards: 1713191

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6, Grades 6-8

The STEM + Digital Literacies (STEM+L) project investigates science fiction composing as an effective mechanism to attract and immerse adolescents (ages 10-13) from diverse cultural backgrounds in socio-scientific issues related to the environment. The participating students (grades 5-8) work in small groups to design and produce STEM content rich, multimodal science fictions during the summer (1 week) and the academic year (~4-6 2.5hr sessions). Supporting activities include structured workshops, multimodal composition practices, disciplinary role taking, and presenting in front of authentic audiences. Students also develop meta-awareness of their collaborations, role identities, composing, and learning processes through completing multimodal reflections at different stages of the project. The research component employs an iterative, design-based approach that investigates how students learn in an integrated way (e.g., STEM content, multimodal digital literacies) in STEM+L. Besides multiple types of data (surveys, video recordings, interviews), we also focus on analyzing student multimodal artifacts using different perspectives. Our analyses reveal that the importance of orchestration of modality, integration between science and writing, and imaginative capacity in multimodal narratives. Our research also shows that trajectories of students’ disciplinary identity development are often coupled with their role-taking behaviors; multimodal composing offers multiple points of entry for participation; and integrating science in narratives took multiple forms.

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