Creating pathways for equity in STEM through family engagement: Highlighting the experiences of Hispanic/Latine youths

Sunday, November 15, 2020
Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: 
Media and Technology, Comics, Books, and Newspapers, Public Programs, Informal/Formal Connections
Elementary School Children (6-10) | Pre-K Children (0-5) | Families | Educators/Teachers | Museum/ISE Professionals | Learning Researchers
Access and Inclusion: 
Hispanic/Latinx Communities
Immigrant Communities
English Language Learners
Low Socioeconomic Status
Florida International University

In order for children to identify with STEM fields, it is essential that they feel there is a place within STEM for individuals “like them.” Unfortunately, this identification is difficult for Hispanic/Latine youths because of lack of representation and even stereotyping that is widespread in educational institutions in the United States. Some research has been done, though, that suggests there is promise in understanding the ways that parents help children see themselves as “STEM people” in spite of these obstacles. Building on this work, we present some of our own research on the experiences of Hispanic/Latine youth in South Florida and how their parents use the resources they have (i.e., capital) to engage their children in STEM and help them develop positive self-perceptions. We find that parents use STEM capital they have, convert other capital into STEM capital, and establish family dispositions that are supportive of STEM identity development. We show how these ideas can be applied to make programming more inviting for Hispanic/Latine youths and emphasize the need to consider parental involvement in any efforts to increase children’s identification with STEM.

Funding Program: 
Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL)
Award Number: 
Funding Amount: 
Publication Name: 
Connected Science Learning

Team Members

Remy DouAuthor
Heidi CianHeidi CianAuthor

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