Exploring Life with Youth

I study life, learning, and development outside of school. Working with youth as research partners, I use emerging participatory methodologies to explore their experiences with a particular focus on STEM (science/tech/engineering/math). This work is grounded in literature from the learning sciences and youth development, but expanded and re-imagined through critical theory and my ongoing development of new participatory research methods. Ongoing projects are informed by youth expertise on what support structures are (or are not) working for them as they seek to author successful pathways for their futures. Ultimately, the goal of this work is to affect systemic change with Youth of Color and youth from low-income communities, especially regarding systems that structure STEM learning and practice.

Drawing from my experiences as an out-of-school STEM educator in community organizations, science museums and centers, summer programs, and science media, my purpose for engaging in this work is to call on diverse and previously ignored youth expertise to inform how educators frame and support STEM journeys with youth. A commitment to push systems of education towards equity and justice for youth in STEM drives my multilayered approach to exploring and revealing youth learning, practice, desires, and dreams with rigor, complexity, and nuance.

As I continue to mentor scholars and engage community partners in this work, I advocate for critical practice that centers youth voice and leadership. Embracing learners as complex and mobile people, and learning spaces as porous sites of sharing, my work engages both youth and adults to re-imagine possibilities for more equitable educational futures.

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