Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) Releases Member-Authored Book Focusing on STEAM Education

“From STEM to STEAM: Latino Perspectives,” published by Capstone, shares viewpoints and strategies from 10 Latino educators

The Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) has partnered with educational publisher Capstone to release “From STEM to STEAM: Latino Perspectives,” a new book featuring the voices of 10 Latino educators/ALAS members who share their viewpoints and strategies for STEAM learning.

“From STEM to STEAM: Latino Perspectives” was released during ALAS’ National Education Summit in October 2023 and is available for purchase at https://www.alasedu.org/store/p/from-stem-to-steam-latino-perspectives. A portion of the proceeds will go toward ALAS’ student scholarship fund.

“Our goal in writing this book is to contribute to the conversation about STEAM education by providing perspectives and voices from Latino educators,” said ALAS Executive Director Dr. Maria Armstrong. “Our members have amazing insight into this issue. I am grateful to them for donating their time, expertise and lived experience to the writing of this book, and to Capstone for helping us release it to the public.”

“From STEM to STEAM: Latino Perspectives” includes an introduction and 10 chapters, each authored by an ALAS member, touching on a different STEAM topic:

  • Introduction: “What STEAM Means for Latino Youth” by Tatyana Ali
  • Chapter 1: “Advancing Student Outcomes One Decision at a Time, Using Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM)” by Rene Sanchez
  • Chapter 2: “STEAM and Elementary English Learners” by Juan Córdova
  • Chapter 3: “Not Science Fairs!” by Elizabeth Alvarez, PhD
  • Chapter 4: “STEAM in the Middle: A Look at Successful STEAM Initiatives in Middle Grades” by Washington B. Collado, PhD
  • Chapter 5: “Reconnecting Roots: The Importance of STEAM Education for Latino High School Students” by Dr. Christopher Bonn
  • Chapter 6: “Words of Encouragement, Accessibility and Preparation: Opening Doors to Post-Secondary STEAM Education” by Leticia Ordaz
  • Chapter 7: “STEAM Assessment and Accountability” by Elda Garcia, PhD
  • Chapter 8: “How to Fund STEAM” by Nury Castillo Crawford
  • Chapter 9: “The Metaverse in STEAM Schools: Theory, Practice, Sustainability, and Evolution – A Latino Perspective” by Zandra Jo Galván
  • Chapter 10: “Interstellar: The Space Between the Stars” by Dr. Maria Armstrong

Armstrong, who wrote the final chapter in the book, noted ALAS also wants to emphasize that through this book, art can be a powerful vehicle to engage Latino and other historically marginalized youth in STEM subjects.

“Many of us have stories of our own children or witnessed in our school districts, where predominantly Black and Brown students are being pushed out of school for “offenses” related to graffiti, or for sharing their voice through speech, or through writing. Students who doodled in class were often seen as disrespectful or inattentive. But often these behaviors are mere outlets as a way of expressing themselves artistically,” Armstrong said. “In this book we discuss how to recognize and leverage students’ artistic talents and interests in a way that can be used to help them connect to the world through math, science and other subjects. It’s about adults shifting their focus to teach STEAM through the lens of art. We must connect the dots or subject matter per se for students to understand why it is important to learn the various subject matter. It is our responsibility as educators to use our teaching and learning expertise and experience to support all students by understanding who they are and what excites them in their learning.”

For more information about ALAS, visit https://www.alasedu.org.

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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