- Year 2019
- NSF Award #1660776
- Registration Current Noyce Scholar
- First Name Octavio
- Last Name Fernandez
- Discipline Biology
- Institution Florida International University
A biology Noyce Scholar will present how his experience in the FIUteach Noyce Program expounded his belief that all children are born with the capacity to learn; it is institutional practices that deter student achievement. Through his seminar he has been exposed to the injustices pushed on ‘undesirable’ students, be it color, gender or identity. The program provided a platform where he could see with his own eyes the striking effect of red lining and negative effects of white flight. The Noyce program encourages an integration of social justice issues inside the science curriculum. Societal norms and institutionalized racism and sexism have created unnecessary mountains for underrepresented communities to climb. This scholar aims to integrate scientists from underrepresented groups and their histories into his science lessons. He believes that encouraging all students, regardless of race, gender, religion and orientation to seek out a science or math role model who shares their history is key to helping these students develop their own self-efficacy as scientists and mathematicians. Through the Noyce program, this scholar has learned just what kind of an impact an open learning environment and open teacher can have on a student. He believes that with more forward-thinking educators, a society once dominated by one race, gender and orientation will one day be all encompassing of the diverse individuals meant to be represented. 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.