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. 

Download: Webinar Chat & Resources Mentioned During Webinar

Recorded: September 10, 2021 at 12pm EDT

Description: In recent years there has been increased attention paid to the importance of both culturally responsive teaching and place-based learning (PBE). In this “Theme of the Month”, we make use of a small set of videos from the Multiplex to illustrate some recent efforts in these areas. Our group of panelists, both researchers and practitioners, will use these artifacts and their own expertise to highlight the power generated at the intersection of culturally responsive teaching and PBE.




Roberta Howard Hunter is a postdoctoral research associate at Michigan State University. Her research includes supporting teachers in teaching outdoors, educator environmental literacy, and sense of place in teaching. An environmental educator for 25 years, she loves connecting people of all ages to their environment. See Full Bio



Gail Richmond is a Professor of Science & Urban Education and Director of Teacher Preparation Programs at Michigan State University. A singular constant in her work is the provision of meaningful learning opportunities for both teachers and students, in contexts which range from university laboratories and field sites to nature parks and wildlife refuge organizations. This work is motivated by the desire to engage student and educator curiosity and provide resources for continued and powerful learning and teaching. See Full Bio



Beatriz Cañas is a youth advocate and urban environmental educator working at the Chicago Botanic Garden as the Director of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility initiatives. Her work is centered on organizational culture change and community building. She holds a M.S. from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor School of Natural Resources and Environment in Behavior, Education, Communication and Environmental Justice. See Full Bio



Anna Lees (Waganakasing Odawa, descendant) is an Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at Western Washington University. Anna works to sustain reciprocal relationships with Indigenous communities, opening spaces for Indigenous values and ways of knowing and being in early childhood and teacher education. She engages research around land education and curriculum development with Indigenous early learning programs. work is at the intersection of marine conservation, science education and social justice. See Full Bio



Mike Szydlowski is currently the K-12 Science Coordinator for the Columbia Public School District in Columbia, Missouri. He works with elementary and secondary science teachers in developing engaging science curriculum, assessments, professional development, and opportunities that are aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards. Mike is also the 2016 President of Science Teachers of Missouri. See Full Bio