Dr Nilka Aviles, Ed.D.

Creating a STEM Focused School Part 2 – Podcast Episode 107 | Classnotes Podcast 107

Classnotes Podcast (May 14, 2012) Does a teacher have to be a science whiz to be a leader in transforming a campus to be STEM focused? Apparently not. Meet Robert Dingenary, a ninth grade English teacher in a low-wealth, high minority school, who volunteered to lead a STEM club when no one else wanted to take it on. And with strong administrative support, his ninth-graders are building a model solar airplane. In this interview, Robert talks how he got this program started, the support he’s getting from the community and how his students have latched on. Robert is interviewed by Nilka Avilés, Ed.D. 

Show length: 16:08

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The Need for Minority High Schools with a STEM Focus
by Nilka Avilés, Ed.D., IDRA Newsletter

Diversifying the STEM Pool – Revisiting the Recruitment of Underrepresented Students in STEM Careers
by Paula Martin Johnson, M.A., IDRA Newsletter

Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation – America ’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads
National Academy of Sciences

Engage to Excel: Producing One Million Additional College Graduates with Degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics 
President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)

Prepare and Inspire: K-12 Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) for America ’s Future 
President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)

IDRA South Central Collaborative for Equity 

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Show Notes

  • Robert offers an overview of his work with the students in the STEM club.

  • Robert explains how the students are excited and inspired by their STEM activities, noting their “explorer-type attitude” and willingness to take risks.

  • Robert considers how schools can increase the number of minority students in the STEM fields.

  • Robert talks about the support that the faculty at his school, parents, nearby institutions, and community organizations have provided to the club.

  • Robert shares his own motivation for getting involved in the club and encourages other educators to do the same, including those who -- like himself -- don’t have formal training in the STEM fields.