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Current Issues in Middle Level Education





This manuscript shares the implementation of an after-school literacy in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) program designed for middle grades students to increase their interest in science and mathematics learning. This program was conducted at our local Boys and Girls Club facilities where students learned about four science topics (renewable energy, water cycle, Newton’s laws, and natural disasters). Students participated in culturally responsive reading and writing activities incorporating culturally relevant books, journal writing, hands-on projects, and a culminating science fair presentation on the topic of their choice. The authors determined that using literature, particularly culturally responsive picture books and graphic novels, to bridge the students’ understanding of scientific and mathematical concepts was an important component of this program. The students’ reactions to the program reflect the importance of offering a variety of avenues for students to represent their understanding, and they corroborate the significance of after-school programs to provide opportunities for diverse student populations to participate in culturally responsive programs to promote literacy and interest in STEM disciplines.


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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.