Teaching science for justice

My work as a science teacher is focused through the lens of justice and the intersection of STEMM with pasts, presents, and futures. Below is a selection of my work incorporating social justice in the science classroom. You can also check out the book I've co-edited!

Watch the video at this link, or find classroom tasks on my AP Bio resources!

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow 2023 National Winners

Temp Mural: Using mural art to fight urban heat islands

In 2022-2023, I supported an amazing group of students who won the national Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition for their project: fabricating ultra-reflective white paint and using it to build climate resilience through art in our local community! 

Their project won a top-tier prize package at Nationals through the Sustainability Innovation Award, which earned $100,000 in technology for our school.

Watch their video below to learn more, or visit their mural at WonderLab!

Educating for Environmental Change 

Breaking climate science education barriers

Surveys show high levels of support in my home state and across the U.S. for teaching children about the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to global warming. In order to effectively educate students about climate change and its causes, however, teachers must overcome multiple obstacles, including misinformation in the media and a lack of grade-appropriate resources that meet state education standards.

Utilizing hands-on labs and activities co-developed by Indiana University's Environmental Resilience Institute, IU environmental scientists, the IU School of Education, the WonderLab Museum, and experienced science teachers (including me!), the Educating for Environmental Change team creates award-winning workshops that deepen educator understanding of key science concepts and practices related to environmental change, including 

Since 2017, more than 150 teachers have attended our professional development workshops. Collectively, these teachers have reached more than 15,000 students since the workshops began. I serve as a lead on this team and could not be prouder of our service to students and their teachers worldwide!

Learn more about this award-winning program (and join us if you are a K-12 teacher!).

Growing Climate Justice Education

A framework for K-12 teachers and their school communities

Image courtesy of UNEP.

The inaugural cohort, facilitators, and invited speakers of the Climate and Equity Summer Institute for Learning and Teaching brought rich understandings of teaching climate justice into my life. I'm excited that members of our cohort and facilitation team are working to publish a framework for growing climate justice education in schools and schooling!

A manuscript on this work is in review!

"Isn't it just XX and XY?" 

Helping biology students build scientific models of human sex determination and reflect on their perspectives

Chris Anderson, Enya Granados, Meghan Mosher, B. Franckowiak and I have loved creating a series of lessons in which high school and college students actively build and refine models to explore high-interest scientific data, leverage critical reasoning, and uncover how assigned sex and gender are culturally situated.

A manuscript featuring this work is in progress!

Investigating the evolution of "humanity" 

A holistic, hands-on guided inquiry approach to reconstructing human evolution using skulls, hands, feet, maps, tools, and the history of science 

This inclusive, justice-oriented lesson, a collaboration with Dr. Armin Moczek, is currently being field-tested by the National Center for Science Education. 

Check out the lesson at NCSE!

Social Justice in the Science Classroom 

As featured on STEMTLnet.org

Dr. David Upegui and I enjoyed facilitating a month of exploring a wide range of specific, documented ways in which teachers effectively incorporate social justice ideas and practices in their science classes. We were quite excited to highlight the work of classroom teachers Sam Long and Salina Gray!

Humane schooling practices 

I am passionate about co-generating knowledge in order to build more humane educational experiences. A further sampling of my work beyond the classroom follows!

The case for resubmissions

In which I talk through how my students and I have structured our classroom to reflect our values.

Published in Kaleidoscope: Educator Voices and Perspectives

Student-centered science classrooms 

How can science teachers shift sense-making to college and high-school students so they develop authentic skills?

A multi-year inquiry with Stephen Traphagen, Julie Minbiole, Jim Lane, Margaret Silliker, Tracy Schloemer, and Michele Cheyne.

Towards a more humane genetics education

Individuals often justify racism by arguing that it is pointless to try and reduce social inequality, because race biologically determines ability. How can such beliefs be (un)learned through biology education?

I've enjoyed partnering with BSCS Science Learning as a thinking partner and facilitator of professional development on human(e) genetics.

Kaleidoscope: Educator Voices and Perspectives

For five years, I served as an editor-in-chief of this journal of transformative teacher storytelling. Its authors and editorial team at the Knowles Teacher Initiative continue to share stories twice yearly, in print and online. Take a look at the current issue, or browse the archive.

The Digital Education Hub

The Digital Education Hub at Indiana University Indianapolis provided sustainable and rigorous support of K-12 students through resources, learning opportunities, and networking throughout the intense sheltering-in-place of the COVID-19 pandemic. By collaborating with communities, families, and educators, we cultivated equity and inclusion in lifelong learning with technology, focusing especially on learners representing structurally marginalized identities and communities. 

2025 President  -- and book review editor! -- at The American Biology Teacher

My spouse Frank and I recently became the book review editors at the journal of the National Association of Biology Teachers, and I'm grateful to have been elected as the 2025 President! We're excited to help connect the NABT membership with a wide array of new ideas.