Memphis STEM in Medicine Ecosystem
The Memphis STEM in Medicine (STEM-M) Ecosystem is a city-wide initiative aimed at increasing access and opportunities to STEM learning opportunities for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) students. Our approach to STEM Learning Ecosystem development, positions youth STEM development as the central focus of the ecosystem’s work, and each member of the ecosystem is an equal contributor to youth STEM development.
The Memphis STEM in Medicine Ecosystem takes a social justice approach to science education, recognizing that representation in science is an important social justice science issue. Through this lens, the ecosystem partners work collaboratively to develop justice-centered science learning opportunities that engages students as co-creators of their learning and aims to position students as transformative intellectuals in their communities.
Current work includes:
- Afterschool STEM Clubs are designed to provide 5th-grade students opportunities to engage in science and engineering concepts as applied to pediatric cancers in an informal setting. Clubs are facilitated by local college juniors and seniors majoring in a STEM-field.
- Afterschool Community Health Clubs are designed to provide students in grades 7-8 opportunities to engage in developing cancer control programs to address cancer disparities in their communities. Clubs are facilitated by local college juniors and seniors majoring in a biology or public health field.
- Kindergarten STEM Collaborative engages kindergarten teachers to co-create STEM learning modules that integrate science education standards with English Language Arts, Social and Emotional Learning, and Mathematics to enhance the quality and quantity of STEM learning experiences provided during the school day.
- BioSTEM in Cancer Education (NEW) engages middle and high school teachers to co-create STEM learning modules that integrate BioSTEM concepts into cancer education to enhance the quality and quantity of STEM learning experiences provided during the school day.
- Science Ambassadors Program aims to expose students to various research careers and pathways with a specific focus on providing diverse models of who can be a scientist.
- Science Ambassadors’ Classroom is a four-part professional development experience aimed to improve scientists’ science communication skills through storytelling, reducing jargon, simplifying for understanding, and promoting audience interaction through a virtual platform. Throughout the series, scientists produced a lay summary and presentation related to a journal article that they either authored or was closely related to their area of research. The presentation is then delivered to high school students during the Virtual Science Journal Club (see below).
- Virtual Science Journal Clubs consists of three sessions in which a scientist “visits” the classroom via a virtual platform to discuss findings from a scientific journal. High school students can ask scientists questions about the life of a scientist, career paths, and the academic journey.
Cancer Control and Disparities Fellowship (NEW) facilitates students’ exploration of the NCI state profile data base to identify a cancer disparity relevant to their community and the social determinants of health framework to propose a cancer control program that addresses systemic drivers of cancer disparities. Select students are then able to develop and research their cancer control program under the guidance of a scientist mentor.
- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
- University of Memphis
- University of Tennessee Health Science Center
- Lemoyne-Owen College
- Baptist Health Sciences University
- Shelby County Schools
- Crosstown High School
- Memphis School of Excellence
- Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering
- Frayser Community PTSA
- Westwood High School PTSA
- Memphis Public Libraries
- Memphis Chamber of Commerce
- Tennessee STEM Innovation Network
- Seeding Success
- Tennessee Department of Education
- Stand for Children
Director, STEMM Education and Outreach
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital