Theme of the month

Theme of the Month

Join us each month as we focus on a topic of interest to STEM Teacher Leaders with a webinar panel, open discussion, resources and blog post. 

September 2021

Partnering Culturally Responsive Teaching and Place-Based Science Education

Roberta Hunter
September's theme, moderated by Roberta Howard Hunter, will explore lessons learned after a tumultuous year as a result of the pandemic. Be sure to read the intro blog, view the Panel Webinar Recording, join the online discussion, & browse related resources.

Intro Blog

Roberta Hunter
Roberta Hunter reflects on this month's theme, "Partnering Culturally Responsive Teaching and Place-Based Science Education," with an introductory blog post. We invite you to take an active part in this month's webinar and discussion.


In this facilitated discussion, we will explore the power generated at the intersection of culturally responsive teaching and PBE. We invite your participation!

Webinar Panel


Recorded: September 10th at 12pm EDT
Moderator: Roberta Hunter
Panelists: Gail Richmond, Mike Szydlowski, Beatriz Cañas, and Anna Lees


Description: Many teachers are heading back to the physical classroom this Fall with some lessons learned after a tumultuous year as a result of the pandemic. This interactive webinar will involve discussions around where we were, where we are, and where we could be as we reboot our classroom practice. Now is a great time to enhance our practice and lead with phenomena to contextualize learning for our students. Leading with phenomena allows students to engage in sense-making so they can focus more on "figuring out" over just learning about science facts.


Theme Videos

The goal of the project is to contextualize science within communities familiar to students, making them aware of environmental issues that impact them. Further, the project sheds light on environmental hazards, which disproportionately affect communities of color, especially those that are also low-income.
The Voices to Hear (V2H) project uses the oral tradition of storytelling to empower Coeur d’Alene Tribal students (middle school, high school and college) to engage in environmental decision-making and scientific communication, while building a stronger sense of cultural identity.
WeatherBlur is a community-based non-hierarchical citizen science platform that allows elementary and middle school students to develop their own research programs, called investigations, and gather and analyze data to solve a local environmental problem.
The School Gardeners’ Southwest Desert Almanac is a collaborative agenda to develop an ecoregion model for supporting and expanding garden-based science teaching (GBST).
Based on our findings from two summer workshops and literature on best practices, we are developing curriculum modules for teachers in both the social studies and physical sciences that engage students actively in the learning process and promote civic engagement.

Synthesis Brief

Brian Drayton
In this brief, Brian Drayton provides a synthesis of this month's theme "Partnering Culturally Responsive Teaching and Place-Based Science Education," that highlights key points and suggested recommendations discussed by those who participated in this month's discussion and webinar panel.