6992 Views
  1. Minjung Ryu
  2. https://www.chem.purdue.edu/ryu/
  3. Assistant Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Purdue University
  1. Mavreen Rose Tuvilla
  2. Graduate Research Assistant
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Purdue University
  1. Casey Wright
  2. Graduate Research Assistant
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Purdue University
Public
Choice

Project RESET: Refugee Youth Engaging in Critical STEM Literacy and Learning

NSF Awards: 1612688

2017 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 9-12

This video features an afterschool program that engages resettled Burmese refugee youth in a STEM project. Most youth participants in our project have left their home in Chin State in Myanmar/Burma and lived in the United States for between a few months to ten years. Throughout a school year, we meet once a week after school to talk and learn about weather, climate, climate change, and its impact on our lives. At the conclusion of the project, the youth create a short video to communicate their knowledge about climate change, inform other people, and persuade others to take actions. Various multimodal activities, such as lab experimentation, discussion, poster presentation, and vlogging, facilitate this sense-making and communication process. These multimodal activities are mostly conducted in multiple languages as the participants speak multiple languages (including English) and constantly switch between them. In this video, we present snippets of the participants' engagement in our activities, their stories, and videos created by the participants. Through this video presentation, we hope to demonstrate how we collaboratively create spaces for sharing ideas and building relationships in multiple languages, reconstructing identities, and planning for future actions. 

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Original Discussion from the 2017 STEM for All Video Showcase
  • Icon for: Mavreen Rose Tuvilla

    Mavreen Rose Tuvilla

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2017 | 05:22 p.m.


    Thank you so much for watching our video! Our video focuses on how our research team and resettled refugee youth have strived to create spaces for participation in critical and transformative STEM learning and its impact. Our research team would love to your feedback on our research, especially regarding the following questions:
    1. What insights does the video provide with respect to critical STEM literacy development in an afterschool STEM learning setting?

    2. What elements from our approach shown in the video can be applied to other formal and informal learning settings?

     
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    Pati Ruiz
  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Researcher
    May 15, 2017 | 08:53 p.m.

    Very interesting work, and so important!   Do you see evidence that the "reconstruction" of self and place that goes on here, in the context of science, shows up on other areas of the participants' lives (and the way they "voice" themselves)?

     
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    Pati Ruiz
  • Icon for: Mavreen Rose Tuvilla

    Mavreen Rose Tuvilla

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 03:05 a.m.

    That's a great question, Brian! We do see students (re)constructing their identities as science learners. We have noted that students freely engage in mixing joking and science discourse -- in a sense to make their engagement in science more comfortable. We have also noticed how they make the space available for discussions about their cultural/ethnic practices. In the video, the students talked freely about the use of thanakha instead of sunscreen. The clip is a snippet of a very rich and lively discussion that really positioned the youth as producers of knowledge. As to how it shows up in other areas of their lives, some students have told us in their interviews that they are a bit more comfortable talking about weather/climate/climate change because of what they have learned in the program. They share it with their friends and family. For example, when news of how Scott Pruitt rejected the idea that humans cause climate change, some participants have told me in interviews that they wanted to find out more about it and they engaged in long discussions about it with their friends. Another example is when one youth said that now she uses an egg timer when she showers  (and also told her siblings to do the same!)to make sure she reduces her carbon footprint. 

    As to how it shows up in other areas of their lives, some students have told us in their interviews that they are a bit more comfortable talking about weather/climate/climate change because of what they have learned in the program. They share it with their friends and family. For example, when news of how Scott Pruitt rejected the idea that humans cause climate change, some participants have told me in interviews that they wanted to find out more about it and they engaged in long discussions about it with their friends. Another example is when one youth said that now she uses an egg timer when she showers  (and also told her siblings to do the same!)to make sure she reduces her carbon footprint. These are but few examples of course...

     
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    Minjung Ryu
  • Icon for: Pati Ruiz

    Pati Ruiz

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2017 | 09:04 a.m.

    Hi! Thank you for sharing your work with us! I really like the questions you pose. With respect to the insights that your video provides, I think it is important to consider identity and STEM learning as you do. I work in an all-girls setting and find that allowing students to share their individual experiences and stories is very helpful in helping them engage with the content we are working with.

    I have lots of questions for you: Are there specific needs that your students have identified in their local community that they can address in the program? Do students share the content that they create with their friends and family members, or with a wider audience? Also, are they able to return to the program to mentor other students? Finally, do you bring in experts in the field to work with your students? 

     
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    Minjung Ryu
  • Icon for: Minjung Ryu

    Minjung Ryu

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 16, 2017 | 10:52 a.m.

    Patricia, Thank you for your nice words and great questions. We do find that the youth enjoy sharing their individual experiences and stories as well. We have been striving to incorporate more opportunities for that. 

    For your questions, lots of youth participate in summer action research program, in which they deal with issues facing their community though they are not necessarily science-related topics (e.g., cultural integration of their community). Our next step would be to incorporate community issues in our program. The youth participants do share their videos with close friends and family members. Indeed, one participant said her parents were very proud of her and her video, which made her happy. We would like to create a platform to share with broader audience as well. Inviting them as mentors was an idea we wanted to try, but it has been somewhat hard logistically. We haven't invited experts to the program, but that would be a great addition!  

  • Icon for: Lisa Samford

    Lisa Samford

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2017 | 12:05 p.m.

    I love that you are co-creating community through STEM exploration as these youth and their families re-define themselves in a very different cultural context. What next? These participants as mentors to youngers? Engaging another refugee group, or Burmese refugees in another region? What are your plans moving forward?

     
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    Minjung Ryu
  • Icon for: Minjung Ryu

    Minjung Ryu

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 17, 2017 | 04:57 p.m.

    Thanks for the questions! We are still grappling with those questions--what to do next? We have been thinking about if we engage other refugee groups in other regions (which indeed we have been seriously considering), what would it look like? What are things that can be transferable to the new setting and what new/different ways to create the space emerge in new settings? And how can we create a larger community in which the youth in different regions communicate with each other? If you (and anyone) have any suggestion, we would appreciate!  

  • Icon for: Lisa Samford

    Lisa Samford

    Facilitator
    May 19, 2017 | 10:26 a.m.

    There are so many relevant and current issues as refugee populations soar. It would be interesting to look at the differences between engaging climate refugees, vs those motivated by war, religious persecution, etc. 

     
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    Minjung Ryu
  • Icon for: Minjung Ryu

    Minjung Ryu

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 21, 2017 | 09:00 a.m.

    Thank you for your ideas. Yes, certainly they are all very important issues that refugees are facing. I also wonder what particular groups (in the project of our project, Burmese youth in this community) feel as relevant and important to them. One thing that I have learned over time is they are very interested in learning about health issues. 

  • Icon for: Rowena Douglas

    Rowena Douglas

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2017 | 03:18 p.m.

    You are engaged in very important work.  What are your plans for disseminating your findings and how do you envision/recommend people establishing similar programs for refugee youth around the country without NSF funding? 

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Minjung Ryu
  • Icon for: Minjung Ryu

    Minjung Ryu

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 17, 2017 | 05:07 p.m.

    Thanks for the comments! As you hinted, we believe the sustainability question (what would happen to our site after the funding runs out) and also broader impact question (what other people can learn from our work and design something similar to their own context) are very important. We plan to write up our learnings for practioner-oriented journals/online-planforms and make our curriculum materials available to the public. We understand that this may not be enough. If you have thoughts, please let us know as well! 

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