Prof. Margarita Jimenez-Silva and local school children and their families are exploring informal STEM learning via a rocket launching program in Woodland. The program, Comunidad de Ciencia, is funded by the National Science Foundation and is a collaboration with Arizona State and University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. Comunidad de Ciencia aims to empower Latino/a families to support 5th and 6th grade girls in science activities. As part of the program, families gathered in October and November 2022 to assemble and launch their rockets.
“Empowering parents to support their daughters in pursuing science gives Latina students a pathway to success in a field in which they have been historically underrepresented,” said Prof. Jimenez-Silva. “Launching rockets ignited a passion for science for both our Latina students and their families!”
This multidisciplinary project’s priority is broadening participation, with a focus on increasing Latina girls’ science and engineering interests through out-of-school family project-based learning activities, conversation groups, and a cultivated community of learners. It is based on the frameworks of Social Cognitive Career Theory and Community Cultural Wealth. The project aims to empower families to feel confident in their ability to support their daughters in science and engineering activities.