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Wednesday, November 14 • 1:45pm - 2:35pm
Creating a STEM Pathway through Mentoring, Purpose, and Food Justice

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Our Change Maker program brings together youth from Springfield, Waltham and Boston and uses a cross-age, near peer, tiered mentoring model, positive-youth development STEM focus where high school youth will support middle school youth in learning the interdisciplinary science of hydroponics while they grow crops in their urban hydroponic farms. We have established Food Justice Ambassador teams across our three cities consisting of high school youth who will mentor and teach middle school youth in after-school settings with youth alumni (college-students) serving as Food Justice Leaders. Attendees will learn how we have combined three synergistic components into a STEM pathway model: (1) a near-peer mentoring approach, (2) STEM learning, and (3) youth purpose and career development. Unlike other out-of-school STEM programs, our proposed work will not only support the learning of STEM concepts, but it will do so by taking them on a personal journey designed to help them discover the relevance of STEM skills for fulfilling future career aspirations, as well as for contributing to the lives of others. Our approach is different from the many programs that focus on teaching STEM to close the opportunity gap. Rather, our program recognizes the potential for urban youth to become deeply knowledgeable citizens who understand the localization of food injustice within their communities and as such, can mobilize their enhanced STEM knowledge and skills to illuminate/resolve social injustices.


Michael Barnett

Professor, Boston College


Heather Metallides

Director of Science, Waltham Public Schools

Marcello Rossi

Springfield ChangeMaker Project Lead, Springfield Public Schools

Andrew Trossello

Teacher, Waltham High School

Wednesday November 14, 2018 1:45pm - 2:35pm EST
Meeting Room A

Attendees (4)