I'm currently a fourth-year PhD student in the Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education division of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, and I currently work under advisement of Dr. Yasmin Kafai. I am interested in examining the affordances of designing STEAM+CS-rich-making learning environments for Black and Brown youth, particularly in the spheres of student voice, identity, restorying dominant narratives, and critical making.
In Fall 2016, the team at Penn developed the biomakerlab, a low cost mobile lab device that could be used to genetically modify/grow bacterial or yeast cells. According to the website, they also "developed lab and accompanying curriculum activities that not only afforded learners a hands-on opportunity to engage with synthetic biology, but also required that they contemplate socioscientific and ethical issues such as the impact biotechnologies like synthetic biology have on society, the environment and ecosystems. All curriculum units involve a fabrication phase where students use the BioMaker Lab device to fabricate genetically modified cell lines. Each unit then has a unique a research & development phase where students make unique practical uses of newly fabricated cells and present their outcomes using a variety of mediums." I have conducted research and facilitated workshops exploring learners discussing the ethical issues surrounding synthetic biology while designing Biocakes, which incorporate yeast that has been genetically-transformed to produce vitamin A.
You can see and learn more here.
Electronic textiles (e-textiles)
I have conducted electronic textiles research, specifically exploring computer science (CS) learning, identity, and the design of music wearables. Through the Stitching the Loop project, we assessed the implementation of a high-school, CS curricular unit based on e-textiles, which are fabric-based crafts made with microcontrollers, conductive thread, LED lights, sensors, and other electronic components. I've also co-developed and co-facilitated workshops for the Restorying Quilt project, where high school students design interactive e-textiles quilt blocks that restory (reimagine) dominant narratives about CS.
You can learn more about the Stitching the Loop curriculum here.
Student Voice in Project-Based Learning
Through the Lucas Education Research of the George Lucas Educational Foundation, I conducted a project utilizing portraiture to explore high school students' experiences exercising student voice in project-based learning.
You can learn more here.
With the nonprofit TeenSHARP, a college prep program for Black and Latinx secondary students, I taught two college-level courses.
Exploring and Reimagining Science through the Lens of Race
As part of the TeenSHARP Striver Social Science Series, I taught a course where students explored the intersection of science and race by drawing on the perspectives of history, sociology, and design. In addition, they learned the socio-historical contexts situating race and science, including historical controversies and debates surrounding the gatekeepers of scientific fields and the (mis)use of communities of color for scientific advancement. For the final projects, students designed prototypical solutions to social problems related to science and race, wrote op-ed articles related to these topics, and conducted participatory research projects related to race-based issues surrounding COVID-19
Making for Better Futures: Restorying through Video Game Design
As part of the TeenSHARP Cyber SPARK Summer Series, I taught a course where students used Scratch, a block-based programming language and online community, to design and create video games that reimagined or “restoried” dominant narratives that impacted their lives.