- Year 2019
- NSF Award #1660776
- Registration Current Noyce Scholar
- First Name Rigel
- Last Name Jimenez
- Discipline Physics
- Institution Florida International University
A Physics Noyce Scholar will share how his experiences within the Noyce program and FIUteach program have helped him become aware of social mental models and their effect on students’ social lives in academia. Before being introduced to the Noyce community, the scholar was unaware of social mental models and how they filter individuals’ views on the world through personal biases. The Noyce scholar will share his experiences gained throughout the activities and events within Noyce program and Noyce Workshop, how people are brought up in different backgrounds and how such social dynamics affect social life in the classroom. For example, participating in the Noyce program made the scholar aware of how gender dynamics affect female students in STEM courses. As a future teacher the Noyce scholar will demonstrate how being aware of students’ social mental models can help develop a better and safer learning environment for students that are predominantly from underrepresented backgrounds. By incorporating diversity and social justice within lessons, these students will have a more equitable academic experience. The scholar believes that the inclusion of social mental models is an opportunity to involve the students in their community, creating an engaging and interactive learning environment which will allow to the students to not only learn STEM-focused content but also acknowledge present social phenomena that currently affect the students’ lives and ultimately their academic environment. This education stance has been developed through experiences at Florida International University (FIU) and the Noyce Seminar. FIU is an urban, public research university in Miami that serves over 58,000 students, over 80% of which are from historically underrepresented groups.