- Year 2023
- NSF Award #1950106
- Registration Former Noyce Scholar
- First Name Rebecca
- Last Name Anderson
- Discipline Life Sciences, STEM Education (general)
- Institution Pacific Lutheran University
In collaboration with colleagues from Bellevue School District, we transformed an OpenSciEd biology unit to be more culturally relevant for our students in the Pacific Northwest. The original ecosystems unit focused on the declining wildebeest population in the Serengeti. Our redesign uses the decline of the local Chinook salmon population in the Salish Sea to discuss components of an ecosystem and the impacts humans have on that ecosystem. By making our unit more relevant to our students’ lives, we were better able to bring their knowledge and experiences into the classroom. We also observed an increase in the connectedness and engagement students had to their learning. Our end of unit assessment empowered students to make a difference in their local communities and apply their learning to new global contexts. The redesign of this unit serves as a template for future curriculum redesign work with the goal of making science learning more culturally relevant and providing strategies for students to increase their global competency to become creators of their future world. We are also able to provide strategies for other educators interested in making their curriculum more culturally relevant.