Making People of African Origins Visible in the STEM Curriculum: An Exploration into the Science and History of African Rock Art and Reverse Engineer and History of Benjamin Banneker.

1. Research has shown that underrepresented minorities have difficulty identifying as a scientist and that underrepresented minorities feel as if becoming a scientist means they are venturing into unchartered territory because scientists are typically perceived as “White male” (Robnett, 2015; Walls, 2012; Wong, 2015). Moreover, classroom discussions of African American scientists show that preservice teachers who are underrepresented minorities are equally surprised when hearing about the robust nature of scientific accomplishments and contributions by African Americans. The lives and accomplishments of African Americans have been limited to civics classes. This workshop provides an opportunity to place the content and pedagogy of science into the culture of people of African origins by exploring the science and history of African rock art and by providing a historical perspective of Benjamin Banneker’s life and work. The relevance of Benjamin Banneker’s work to reverse engineer is also explored. This workshop provides support for many relevant theories, such as culturally relevant pedagogy, indigenous pedagogy, multicultural pedagogy and pedagogy on the nature of science.

2. The workshop will begin with an introduction to the various connections with the Next Generation Science Standards and why this workshop is important.

We will provide a historical perspective of the work and contributions of Benjamin Banneker followed an opportunity to discuss and explore the use of reverse engineer to understand science content and practices. Handson activity and discussion to explore the use of reverse engineer.

Discussion: What are possible content and process connections to the science curriculum?

This is followed by an Exploration into the History and Science of African Rock Art. This consists of a history of the changes over time in the continent of Africa and its connection with the science content and curriculum. This includes a discussion and inquiry into the scientific practices, chemistry, ecology, and geology of African Rock Art.

A brief hands-on activity and discussion will ensue. This includes a discussion of the connection to the NGSS and a group discussion and sharing of how participants might use the information and examples in their classroom.

Discussion: What are possible content and process connections to the science curriculum?

3. To understand that people of African origins have contributed to science and have engaged in science. To provide a context of science that bridges the science content with the culture of underrepresented minorities. To understand the connections and supports for the Next Generation Science Standards using this approach/context.

4. Yes. My email address will be available in the program as well as on the powerpoint and information (handouts) included in this workshop.

5. Methods instructors, curriculum developers, teachers – this bridges theory and practice. Provides an interdisciplinary approach.

6. Educators, informal learners/educators, no particular expertise required. The activities/discussion are self-reflective and interactive.

7. No cost. Mainly black and white printouts/handouts, website sources. I hope to use mainly recycled material to conduct the reverse engineer activity to minimize cost. Materials will include cups etc . . . for holding dirt for example, for possible activity to reenact rock art (might include charcoal), clay, or similar low budget items.