GIRLS’ STEM CLUB

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Members of the STEAM Language, Learning, and Identity Research Lab including Dr. Shakhnoza Kayumova, Nicole Butts, Charlemya Erasme, and Suzanne Cardello recently visited the Girls’ STEM Club. Dr. Shakhnoza Kayumova, along with our project manager Kym Welty, and STEM teacher Jamie McDonald collaborated to organize this visit between university STEM professors, students, and local schools to foster interest in STEM subjects through hands-on activities.

BUILDING BRISTLEBOTS

The team spoke with students about engineering and bioengineering and the diverse professions these disciplines encompass. In the context of a discussion about organisms and their ecosystems, the girls then built Bristlebots, a simple robot composed of the head of a toothbrush propelled by the kinetic energy of a small vibrating motor (like the kind that makes a cell phone vibrate!). The girls enjoyed learning about engineering (open and closed circuits) and design concepts as they worked with the team to construct their own beautiful creations to take home and share with their families.

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Community Partnership Meetings at Parker Elementary School

On Tuesday, October 30, 2018, we participated in the Community Partnership meeting at Parker Elementary School to discuss ways we could collaborate with various community partners to better enrich the lives of culturally and linguistically diverse students, their families, teachers, staff, administration and the community at large. In attendance were various representatives from local organizations such as the city's Parks and Recreation department, the United Way, the YMCA and others. One of the initiatives discussed at the meeting was an establishment of The Parker Family Cafe Academy, the intent for which is to bridge the school, families, and community resources. As captured in the following quote "a space where we share, learn and acknowledge the tremendous treasure troves of Parker families as well as host a myriad of FREE, fun, interactive and learning opportunities that supports the caregiver, child, and family/community by: helping their child achieve and succeed; personal growth; family health & wellness; parenting and child development; family and community programming; and career and professional growth." At the meeting we shared our work including the summer STEAM academy. As members of STEAM Language, Learning and Identity Research lab, we are excited to collaborate with families, schools, and community members, and bridge our resources to support community capacity building. We are excited and look forward to engaging with our community partners and collaborating with community members and the faculty/staff at Parker Elementary.

Crisis In Education

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Recently, Dr. Kayumova was invited by students on campus to at the SPEAK sponsored event themed, Crisis in Education. Dr. Kayumova shared about her research and discussed importance of education, diversity, and equity. One of the highlights of Dr. Kayumova's discussion was the importance of countering deficit-discourse concerning communities of colors in education and instead thinking about the ways in which we could provide structural and systematic support to further social justice.