West Oakland Middle School Students Make Science Real

“When thinking of issues of social justice, people don’t often connect that directly to science”

June 9th, 2016

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At this year’s Annual Science Fair at West Oakland Middle School, students created projects that related to their lives. Watch!

“Students chose a science fair project (either an investigation or a research project, as part of the OUSD science fair categories) in one of six areas that we felt were culturally relevant to our students’ lives and connected to issues of social justice, particularly for students living in West Oakland communities. This was out of response to students learning more “everyday science,” building upon their current knowledge and connecting that to scientific concepts that are relevant to their communities. For example, there was a recent case that was settled by Johnson and Johnson that involved Black women and reproductive cancers. Issues like this one are very relevant to students’ lives and are beautiful ways to connect science to social justice and develop students’ sociopolitical consciousness.”
Health and beauty products
Cleaning products
Environmental health issues relevant to West Oakland Communities (i.e., health issues particular to communities in the area, especially those with higher incidence rates than other parts of Oakland, such as asthma)
Water drought in California
Effects of violence on the human body (physiology, cognitive function, psychology, etc.)
Food Justice

Tia Madkins, STEAM Instructional Coach-West Oakland Middle School (WOMS)

Judges for the WOMS 2016 Science Fair included OUSD Deputy Superintendent Charles Wilson, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, SEM Link, and Self-eSTEM,UC Berkeley Black Graduate Engineering and Science Students (BGESS), UC Berkeley Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA), UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education doctoral candidates in science education, and more!

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