Good Heart Chicana/o and Native Science Project
The CSUN Chicana/o Studies Department Good Heart Chicana/o and Native Science Project provides weekly after school Environmental STEAM programming for K-5 children and their families. Environmental leaders from our community partner, Parent Pioneers-Padres Pioneros (PP), and CSUN students use culturally relevant children's literature, teatro, field trips, and hands-on E-STEAM activities to engage families in fun and learning about the environment and how they can make a positive difference in their homes and communities.
What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?
K-12 STEAM Education
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
San Fernando Valley
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?
Expand existing project, program, or initiative
What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?
NE San Fernando Valley frontline communities are under-resourced- facing high pollution burdens, extreme heat events, elevated concerns around water conservation and quality, and wildfires. Though Latinx students are one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. population, they are largely under-represented in STEM professions. The lack of STEM professionals translates to a lack of attention focused on the challenging needs of Latinx frontline communities. Latinx students look to their families for cues about what is appropriate for them to pursue in their education. Research conducted on the Good Heart Chicana/o and Native Science Project found that 93% of parent participants agreed with the statement that their child shows more interest in science since their participation in the project. Respondents (93%) also agreed that what they learned in the program helped them to better understand the importance of their family's culture in supporting their child in science.
Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.
The Good Heart Science Project provides weekly 90 minute after school E-STEAM classes to K-5 children and their families in LAUSD public schools for 16 weeks during the school year. Classes are presented in English and Spanish by CSUN students and environmental leaders (parents and grandparents) from our community partner, Parent Pioneers. Class starts with a teatro or presentation of a culturally relevant children's story. Families discuss their connections to and understanding of the meaning of the story. A role model of a person of color scientist is presented to encourage the children to consider these careers. This discussion then leads to the question of the day (QoD). For example, "How do we make a simple motor?" Presenters employ movement, models, songs, and games to teach the concepts related to the QoD. For example, the movement of electrons within a system. Families then use hands-on materials to figure out how to make a simple electric motor. The class wraps up by returning to the QoD to gauge participants' understanding of the concepts. We also take families on outings to public lands and/or science centers to deepen their connections to nature. This unique multi-generational project taps into the funds of knowledge and strengths held within families. By using fun, joy, nature, and culture, families form deeper bonds and increase in their capacity to address environmental issues and to support their children's college-going and pursuit of STEAM careers.
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
Short term objectives to be measured with post-project questionnaires; Ob. 1. At least 80% of Good Heart participants will demonstrate growth in their knowledge, skills, and ability to address climate and sustainability issues in their homes and communities; Ob. 2. At least 80% of the Good Heart parent participants will demonstrate growth in their knowledge of how to support their child's interest in STEAM. Ob. 3. At least 80% of the Good Heart parent participants will better understand the importance of their family's culture in supporting their child in STEAM. Ob. 4. At least 80% of the Good Heart K-5 participants will demonstrate increased interest in STEAM careers and majors. Long Term: Children will be invited to participate in research & college going activities as part of the CHS Dept's (K-16) Climate Action Leadership Pathways Project funded by the CSU HSI Initiative. We expect to see more students attending college & pursuing STEAM careers with support from their families.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
Impact: Fa 22-Sp 23: 48 (16 classes x 3 sites) Good Heart classes taught to 100 K-5 children & parents resulting in increased parent involvement and children's increased participation during Good Heart classes and in their classrooms. Families expressed a change in their daily habits including increased recycling, proper trash disposal, and conservation of water & energy. CSUN student volunteers reported increased interest in serving their communities. Per Sp 23 Good Heart survey results, N=24, 92% of participants agreed that since their child's participation in the program, they noticed that their child shows more interest in science and mathematics. Similarly, 96% of participants agreed that the program helped them feel like they can support their child's interest in science and math. Also, 96% of participants agreed that what they learned in the program helped them to better understand the importance of their family's culture in supporting their child in science and math.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
Direct Impact: 250
Indirect Impact: 5,000
Describe the role of collaborating organizations on this project.
Parent Pioneers-Padres Pioneros is a grass roots group of Latinx mostly immigrant, low-income parents with over 28 years of experience implementing family literacy, family math, and family science in schools. Their role is to help in planning, preparing, and presenting the Good Heart Science classes to the families in the schools. They bring their funds of knowledge and Traditional Ecological Knowledge from their homes and villages to share with others. They have developed culturally relevant curriculum, written books and songs, and developed games to address Environmental STEAM content. Mission: Develop parents' leadership and capacity to support their children's academic achievement while promoting respect for diversity. Learn to respect, care for, and love mother earth.