- Year 2019
- NSF Award #1660135
- Registration Current Noyce Scholar
- First Name Jacob
- Last Name Brunsvold
- Discipline Chemistry, Math, Physics
- Institution University of Wisconsin - River Falls
Traditional instructional approaches of lecturing and note-taking leave students disengaged in the classroom. Moreover, these methods of learning often have weaker connections to the Next Generation Science Standards, because the students are passive rather active learners in the classroom. This creates the need for a more engaging approach for learning. The goal of this project is to share our experiences with developing culturally relevant projects in rural and urban school districts. Noah, the Noyce scholar in the rural setting, developed a project to teach the students about simple machines and machine advantage. He was able to to connect to the rural culture of the students by using familiar examples of machines such as fishing poles and snowblowers. Jacob, the Noyce scholar in the urban setting, developed a lesson to teach the students about stoichiometry. He was able to connect to urban culture of the students by creating project that connected to a issue that was relevant to the politically and environmentally conscious students in his class: the Flint, Michigan water crisis. Both projects were great successes. They were able to capture the attention of the students by presenting the concepts in a contexts that were familiar and culturally relevant to the students. The students were able to take what they were learning and build upon pre-existing knowledge. For the future impacts of this project, we anticipate improved ability for both teachers to provide culturally relevant instruction to help all students meet learning objectives in whatever setting they end up teaching.