Having Fun with STEAM Education
Appalled by the total lack engineering and robotics education in his local LAUSD school district, Mr. Rios established a robotics club at his elementary school. Now, five years later, this club has expanded to include an annual robotics competition hosted by CSUN: Rally in The Valley (RIV). RIV includes 1,600 students from 22 local elementary schools, and receives funding from NASA.
Teaching is the Way and the Truth
He shared on his 20 years of teaching in urban schools, and his inspirations, including his great-grandfather who resisted the Ku Klux Klan in the South in the early 1900s.
Minority Male Mentoring Program
Dr. Hackett shared his personal struggle with “fitting in” to the academic setting (“Am I an imposter?”) as a male of color, finding his sense of self and triumphing to become a tenured faculty member.
Culture + Education = Liberation
Alex shares his personal story as a former “gang banger” on his way to “jail or the cemetery” who found a way out through education. Inspired by the history of his Mesoamerican cultural background, Alex painted murals and enrolled in art classes at the local community college. He then transferred to CSUN and in addition to being a Master’s, and now doctoral student, he worked in the CSUN MOSAIC (Mentoring to Overcome Struggles and Inspire Courage) program to the position of “Director.” MOSAIC counselors mentor youth at risk for educational failure, gang and family violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and emotional trauma to continue and succeed at school. Hundreds of youth at local LAUSD continuation high schools benefit from MOSAIC, most are “young Latino kids who have fallen through the cracks” and “need somewhere to belong, something to believe in.”