Rosenberg Institute Spring Seminar Series


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Wednesday, February 26 | 3:30 p.m.
Estuary & Ocean Science Center | Bay Conference Center

The Alma Project: Cultivating cultural capitals in STEM through reflective journaling

Kim Coble, Professor, San Francisco State University

Abstract: Reflective journaling has been shown to promote positive, meaningful learning experiences.At San Francisco State University, the AlmaProject was created to support connections to the life experiences of STEM students through reflective journaling. Pulling from frameworks in Ethnic Studies and social psychology, the Alma Project aims to make learning STEM inclusive by affirming the intersectional identities and cultural wealth of students in STEM classrooms. In Spring 2017, the Alma Project was piloted in select sections of the Supplemental Instruction (SI) program. Since Fall 2018, the project has expanded to all SI classes and to all introductory physics and astronomy labs. Each month, students spend 5-10 minutes responding to questions designed to affirm their values and purpose for studying STEM in college. Students also spend time in class sharing their responses, including common struggles and successes. We identify 11 cultural capitals expressed by STEM students that cultivate persistence and support belonging.

Bio: Kim Coble is a physics and astronomy education researcher studying students’ ideas about modern topics in science (such as cosmology), the strengths diverse learners bring to STEM classrooms, and creating innovative, active learning environments that engage students in realistic scientific practices. She is currently the chair of the Education Committee of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), was a member of the AAS Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion in Graduate Astronomy Education, and was an organizer of the Inclusive Astronomy 2015 conference. At SFSU she is the director for the Learning Assistant program, a member of the SF Build Faculty Agents of Change, and a faculty collaborator for CSME. She was formerly an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Fellow and obtained her PhD from the University of Chicago.


See the full Spring Seminar Series HERE.