Out of School and into STEM: Supporting Girls of Color through Culturally Relevant Enrichment

Abstract

Increasing the participation of girls of color in the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is a national concern. Due to the persistence of achievement and opportunity gaps, sustaining positive STEM dispositions in girls of color is critical to diversifying the STEM pipeline. Enrichment activities can serve as a means to address persistent gaps in opportunities to learn. The purpose of this article was to explain how teachers could adapt traditional STEM enrichment activities to support girls of color through culturally relevant instructional practices. The three components of culturally relevant pedagogy are utilized to example how to adapt traditional activities to support girls of color in STEM. Examples are presented to foster (1) academic success, (2) cultural competence, and (3) sociopolitical consciousness in girls of color. Greater opportunities for STEM professional development, especially those that help teachers build upon culturally relevant teaching, are needed for both pre- and in-service teachers who desire to serve as teacher leaders in STEM. Implications and suggestions for teacher leaders are presented throughout.

Keywords

Out of School Time, STEM, girls of color, culturally relevant teaching

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