PhD student David Liu Shares Research Findings at American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting
PhD student David Da Wei Liu presented his research at the 117th American Anthropological Association (AAA) Annual Meeting in San Jose, November 14-18. The 2018 conference theme was Change in the Anthropological Imagination: Resistance, Resilience, and Adaptation. The title of Liu's presentation was "What Problem is in our Ecosystem? Participatory Action Research through Using and Producing Scientific Practice to Improve the Community."
This paper discusses how four 5th grade Latina, specifically Mexican-American, students shift in their science identities as they engage in practices of science in a participatory action research (PAR) project to improve their communities. A multi-site ethnography of home, school, and afterschool for a school year included video recordings, interviews, artifacts, and observations to understand how students not only understand science but also use science. The Latinas first engaged in a student project to understand the types of energy around us, in particular chemical energy from digesting food, and created a public service announcement highlighting healthy eating. In the second student project, the Latinas focused on a problem in their community and ecosystems which include pollution in the ocean and forest fires. The third student project was to engage in the engineering design cycle to create a solution to solve a problem in their community through science. Through these projects, these Latinas leveraged their cultural practices and routines from other setting such as home. And by leveraging and being recognized for their home practices, the girls engage in hybrid practices of science. In essence, these girls saw science in their everyday lives by layering their meaning of science to solve community problems and improve their community. In fact, science identities were layered to their own identities as they engaged in both their own practices and scientific practices. Furthermore, science knowledge and practices became a part of the Latinas’ everyday knowledges in practice beyond the classroom and with the community.