Diversity (2014)


Families Involved in Education: Sociocultural Teaching and STEM (FIESTAS)

Kathryn Ciechanowski, SueAnn Bottoms, Jennifer Bachman, Carolyn Ashton, Jenny de la Hoz, Ana Lu Fonseca - College of Education, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, OSU Extension Service

The FIESTAS project engages youth, their families, future teachers, and the local community in fostering an environment of learning that makes sense to them.

In this afterschool program, about 75 youth each term focus on the question, “What do scientists do?” The youth examine a variety of scientific topics, including the nature of matter, forms of energy, and stages in the life cycle of a tree. Science in the Neighborhood is another theme, and this involves youth at each school making field trips to examine and identify how science and math is used at local gardens, restaurants, bike shops, bakeries, and grocery stores.

Working in small teams, the youth produce short videos documenting the results of their “mission” (and practice their Flip video production skills in the process).

This initiative also provides experience to about 65 OSU students who plan and deliver these afterschool sessions. The program serves a dual purpose: it recruits and retains Latinos in the school system, and equips our teaching force with cultural competence skills. This partnership includes academic and community integration, which is the foundation of engaged learning.

FIESTAS is a collaboration between OSU’s College of Education, the OSU Extension Service’s 4-H Youth Development program and the SMILE program.

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