Cultural Relevancy in STEM Classrooms

Cultural Relevancy in STEM Classrooms

Southern University and A&M College and the Smithsonian Science Education Center will host a two-day virtual professional development workshop for grades K-12 STEM teachers and their administrators funded by Shell Oil Company to:

  • Build awareness about the importance of culturally proficient teaching for all populations
  • Encourage STEM teachers to modify their methods of instruction and integrate classroom environments in ways that enable all students to envision themselves in past, present, and future contexts
  • Address “unintentional” racism and develop strategies to confront racist concepts and ideas
  • Develop a community of learners to provide ongoing support and share resources

The Cultural Relevancy in STEM Classrooms Professional Development offers an opportunity for K-12 educators to improve cultural competency in teaching practice by engaging in conversations and activities designed to promote culturally relevant mindsets and pedagogy.  

If you are interested in learning teaching strategies that will assist you in fostering a learning environment that ensures academic success for every student and builds their confidence to appreciate themselves and the world around them, then this professional development is for you!

To learn more about this event contact Sherrell Lewis at


Registration will be open September 7 - October 1, 2020

Event Details

 Professional Development will take place virtually from 8:30am - 3:30pm CST on Saturdays, October 17th and October 24th. 

Session Information


8:30am - 10:00am CT | Defining Culture and Understanding Individual Culture and Science Identities, Amy D’Amico and Sherrell Lewis - Smithsonian Science Education Center, As a community of learners, teachers will co-construct a working definition of “culture”. Then teachers will work to recognize their own unique culture and identity and how who they are culturally, linguistically, ethically, sexually, etc. shapes the lens through which they view teaching and learning.

10:00am - 11:30am CT | Mindsets for Culturally Relevant Teaching in STEM, Amy D’Amico and Sherrell Lewis - Smithsonian Science Education Center, Teachers will come to understand that mindset is a critical component of culturally relevant teaching. Here teachers will assess the significance of mindset and how a change in mindset leads to a change in skillset. Before identifying strategies and tools, it’s important to develop mindsets that allow you to do the work!

12:30pm - 2:00pm CT | Cultural Competence Matters: Improving Cultural Competence through Effective Interpersonal Communication, Tara Hollins, Kelly Haynes, and Jennifer Norwood - Joseph Meyinsse Leadership Institute, In this session, participants will be guided through a conversation on improving cultural competence by understanding diversity, culture, cultural elements, values, stereotyping, prejudice, and barriers to effective intercultural communication.

2:00pm - 3:30pm CT | Teacher Cultural Competence, Kimberly Boast, Bryan Jones, and Sherri Price – Joseph Meyinsse Leadership Institute, Cultural competence is the ability to successfully teach students who come from a culture or cultures other than their own. Cultural competence doesn’t occur as a result of a single day of training, reading a book, or taking a series of courses. Educators become culturally competent over time when they embody a disposition that teaches the whole child and not just a subject area. Developing certain personal and interpersonal awareness incorporates one to build a solid foundation which will value the student, their families, and their communities. This session will empower educators in developing a community of learners and yield student success throughout the different cultures and diverse backgrounds.


8:30am - 10:00am CT | Culturally Relevant Teaching Practices in the Classroom: Amy D’ Amico and Sherrell Lewis - Smithsonian Science Education Center, Culturally relevant pedagogy is more than just a way of teaching or a simple set of practices embedded in curriculum lessons and units. Culturally relevant pedagogy embodies a professional, political, cultural, ethnical, and ideological disposition that supersedes mundane teaching acts; it is centered in fundamental beliefs about teaching, learning, students, their families, and their communities, and an unyielding commitment to see student success become less rhetoric and more of a reality.

10:00am - 11:30am CT | The Impact of Culturally Relevant Teaching, Amy D’Amico and Sherrell Lewis - Smithsonian Science Education Center, Here we discuss the impact of culturally responsive teaching on students, their families, and the community. Teachers will gain an understanding of differences as assets, not deficits, and the value of multiple perspectives.

12:30pm - 2:00pm CT | Creating an All-Inclusive STEAM Classroom, Rochelle Darville, Nikita Lacour-Dukes, and Ashley McClure - Joseph Meyinsse Leadership Institute, Dare to be extraordinary! You are cordially invited to join us as we felicitously exchange views on how to create an All-Inclusive STEAM Classroom. During this worthwhile session, you will effortlessly discover, explore, collaborate, reflect, and experience the meaning of an All-Inclusive STEAM Classroom.  Hence, be prepared to devise and construct a framework as well as debate vital alignments to an all-inclusive STEAM classroom. We, also, look forward to assisting you tailor an action plan based on the concepts, exceptionalities, subject matter, and cultural needs of an all-inclusive STEAM classroom.  

2:00pm - 3:30pm CT | Scientific Tools to Identify and Correct Student Misconceptions, Emily Jackson-Osagie, Shelis Jones, and Catherine Alexander - Joseph Meyinsse Leadership Institute, Misconceptions are both worrisome and problematic to STEM educators because students continue to build knowledge on their current understanding, negatively impacting their learning. In this session, participants will be provided with a framework to deconstruct, reconstruct, and construct (D.R.C. Model) the teaching and learning experience in the STEM classroom. This session will serve as a resource for educators in both formal and informal STEM classrooms to help identify students’ ideas to guide teaching practices.