Associate Professor of Mathematics Education
Urban Teacher Education, Great Lakes Equity Center
Girls STEM Institute
Girls STEM Institute (GSI) is a transformative space that empowers young girls of color to live their best lives and embrace their innate brilliance through STEM exploration. Through a socially transformative STEM curriculum, GSI addresses issues of inequity, racism, gender bias, and other stigmas as social constructs that can be overcome and dismantled. GSI is unique in that it focuses on the whole person by integrating STEM learning with overall wellness and well-being. GSI is a year-round enrichment program with a summer intensive. Within GSI's rich, relevant, and supportive context, young ladies have the freedom to grow interpersonally and intellectually. Over the last nine years, we have identified six central pillars that significantly impacted scholars and their families. These pillars include: 1. providing socially transformative stem learning experiences, 2. creating an environment of comfort, care, and love for scholars and parents/caregivers, 3. providing collaborative and shared learning opportunities, 4. building authentic parent/caregiver and community involvement and partnerships, 5. providing access to STEM professionals from diverse backgrounds, and 6. providing parent/caregiver support to continue advocating in and navigating through K 12 formal learning spaces. Through ongoing research projects, some of GSI's research goals are to: (1) establish a programming model for STEM learning aimed at increasing the level of engagement in STEM for both Black girls and their parents/caregivers, (2) increase the participation of Black families in STEM learning experiences and family discourse about the relevancy of STEM content to their lived experiences., and (3) increase the interest of Black families in STEM content and STEM careers.