Teaching science for justice

My work as a science teacher is focused through the lens of justice and the intersection of STEM 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!

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!).

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!

Visit the STEM Teacher Leadership Network website for FREE access to:

In our online workshop "Justice through science education: Curriculum and culture for our future," Upegui and I have created opportunities for hundreds of K-12 teachers at schools across the country to reflect on stories of how science education can help to uncover and solve injustice in our current society, explore a tested framework for teaching social action through science teaching, and consider practical ways to include these ideas into classrooms today.

Please contact us to schedule a workshop for your school, district, or group!

"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!

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 IUPUI provided sustainable and rigorous support of K-12 students through resources, learning opportunities, and networking. 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. 

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. We're excited to help connect the NABT membership with a wide array of new books!