Design and Teach Standards-Based STEM Content Through an Equity Lens

Connect with a global network of educators and be empowered to combine STEM + social justice in your classrooms.

Can we teach STEM to a diverse range of students?

When I was a teacher, I remember learning about equity for all students, yet I didn’t know what that actually looked like in the math and science classroom. My administrators were always looking for increased test scores for Black and Latinx student populations, yet we weren’t meeting the “targets”. Fellow teachers would complain about disengaged parents and students would lose interest in boring math and science lessons that were irrelevant to their lives.

I’d see all this data and yet I think of my students like Bridget or Lorenzo that were at the top of my classes and then years later, they never pursued math and science. Something wasn’t adding up. I was determined to close the opportunity gap with my students’ access to high quality STEM instruction, but I felt alone and overwhelmed.

Does this sound familiar?

After studying STEM education for the last decade, I’ve learned:

  • Students CAN learn when the material is RELEVANT and REAL for them.
  • Parents and families DO CARE about their child’s education.
  • Teachers WANT to have more equitable instruction in STEM.

We just need a SYSTEM with ONGOING SUPPORT, #4Real.

That’s why we created The STEM4Real Network. For us, it’s more than professional learning, this is a movement to create equitable STEM Instruction in our classrooms, #4Real

Cultivate an anti-racist school & classroom culture

  • Be prepared to work with and impact a diverse range of students
  • Implement culturally relevant and anti-racist lessons and school culture
  • Ultimately increase student achievement and intrinsic motivation to use STEM as a vehicle for social justice
  • Bring back JOY into teacher professional development!

Bravo to STEM4Real! The curriculum writing for Walden West Science and Sustainability Center Field Trips is a collaborative effort between my staff and theirs. The lessons that they recreated are engaging and phenomena based as well as committed to the alignment of NGSS and 3D learning. They incorporated culturally responsive pedagogy and social justice into the outdoor-education world. We value their commitment to our program and to our students.

Marie Bacher
Director of Environmental Education
Walden West Outdoor School, Santa Clara County Office of Education

The STEM4Real session was an excellent learning experience, modeling hands-on science explorations and sharing research-based approaches for designing engaging science lessons, as well as a range of strategies that included math integration and sentence starters for students in need of linguistic support.

Elisa Stone, PhD, Executive Director, Berkeley Science and Math Initiative
UC Berkeley CalTeach/ Math for America

The STEM4Real Network

You will have the opportunity to network and collaborate nationally and internationally with fellow like-minded educators committed to standards + justice. 

You will have access to the following: 

  • Teacher-curated lesson bank and instructional resources
  • Instructional tool kits and strategies
  • Collaboration and Lesson Study within the STEM4Real Network of educators
  • Online Courses with Optional Units with Cal State University, East Bay
    • Lesson Study #4Real: A Framework to Connect, Create and Cultivate Equitable and Antiracist STEM Instruction
    • Leadership 4 Justice: Recognize, Dismantle and Rebuild Inequitable Systems in Education and Nonprofit Organizations
  • Monthly "Unspeaker Series" Professional Learning (Offered Virtually) with live lesson planning facilitation
  • Weekly Office Hours for collaboration and action-planning
  • Weekly "Make a Change Mondays" equity-focused sessions that combine STEM + Social Justice 

Everything for only $1295/educator per year!

As a fairly new elementary school STEM teacher, I cannot even begin to describe how valuable Dr. Leena Bakshi of STEM4Real has been to our school and my teaching practice. I really appreciate all of the consulting work Dr. Bakshi has done with me and several other teacher colleagues throughout this past school year. Every time she visited our campus, she provided us helpful resource materials, concrete strategies, and many useful tools that we could utilize with students and implement into our classrooms right away. Not only did she “talk the talk” but she constantly “walked the walk” by performing several hands-on classroom demonstrations of the 5E model (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate) as well as showed us exactly how to successfully integrate reading, writing, arts, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) all into an hour-long lesson. She demonstrated lessons and activities that reached our most difficult inclusion classrooms that have been known for student misbehaviors and disengagement. Immediately after Dr. Leena’s demonstration in our classrooms, our students’ interest and excitement for learning was ignited and they couldn’t wait to dive deeper into the investigations and learn more about the concepts that were being taught. Dr. Bakshi is a wonderful person to work with, she has an upbeat attitude, personable nature, and holds high expectations for both students and teachers. Her expertise, knowledge and passion for STEM has infused our professional development and helped change the learning culture in our school. My experience with Dr. Bakshi has been completely invaluable and I will use what I have learned from her this year for many more years to come.

Donna Soriano, K-6 STEM Specialist
Waianae Elementary School, Hawaii Department of Education

Hi! I’m Dr. Leena Bakshi, 

the founder of STEM4Real — a nonprofit professional learning organization.

I am a former county and state level administrator and mathematics, science and health teacher. Right now, I serve as the Board Secretary for the California Association of Science Educators. I also currently work with pre-service teachers at UC Berkeley and Claremont Graduate University, teaching STEM methods and Universal Design for Learning.

My research interests include Science/STEM education and how we can create access and opportunities for each and every student regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or socioeconomic status.

In STEM4Real, we are committed to combining STEM and NGSS standards-based content learning and leadership with principles of equity and social justice. We are regularly in search of collaborative partners and passionate individuals like you, to join us and be part of the change in education!

STEM4Real goes above and beyond to create custom tailored professional learning progressions that are responsive to district and participants needs. Sessions meet participants exactly where they are at and push them forward in their work towards equitable outcomes for ALL students – where all truly means all. The professional learning strand put our students at the heart of the work and provided opportunities for reflection and examination of existing practices through an equity lens. Each session models best practices in high quality STEM education and allow participants to experience the process and reach the a-ha without being told explicitly. As a participant, STEM4Real facilitated my growth as an equity focused teacher leader and provided me with the tools need to engage in the work. In short, STEM4Real leads by example and challenges participants to do the same.

Tara Sikorski, Science Coordinator
Santa Clara County Office of Education

As educators, we have been doing the same thing for decades. Let’s stand up and do something different. It’s time to put anti-racist teaching strategies into practice #4Real.

© 2021 STEM4Real. All rights reserved.