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Edtech Advocacy &
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Innovations in STEAM: An Equity-Driven Process for Student Success

Change display time — Currently: Central Daylight Time (CDT) (Event time)
Location: Room 291-2
Experience live: All-Access Package
Watch recording: All-Access Package Year-Round PD Package

Participate and share : Interactive session

Alvaro Brito  
Michele Dawson  
Jose Ramirez  

Learn how Compton Unified School District eliminated the opportunity gap for students in technology by building STEAM pathways.

Audience: Principals/head teachers, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: PC, Chromebook, Mac
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Topic: Innovative learning environments
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Coaches:
Change Agent
  • Cultivate a supportive coaching culture that encourages educators and leaders to achieve a shared vision and individual goals.
For Education Leaders:
Equity and Citizenship Advocate
  • Ensure all students have access to the technology and connectivity necessary to participate in authentic and engaging learning opportunities.
For Educators:
  • Manage the use of technology and student learning strategies in digital platforms, virtual environments, hands-on makerspaces or in the field.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

This interactive session will focus on how Compton Unified is closing the opportunity gap by building a pipeline of students PreK-12 who are prepared for STEAM majors and career opportunities. Also, learn how Compton Unified was able to pivot and create a virtual STEM program during distance learning in the pandemic. Engage in an equity driven process to build a STEAM culture, develop STEAM learning pathways for engagement, and raise parents’ awareness through community events.
This session will also engage participants in honing their vision of an equitable STEM learning pathway, with a focus on building a STEM culture, strategies for developing continuous pathways for equitable STEM engagement, from elementary through middle through high school, and the information or data needed to assess and improve district efforts. During the session, participants will interact with Nearpod to gather information, collaborate, and share findings.
Participants will be exposed to our core beliefs and countering implicit bias that shape the need for equitable steam pathways. Participants will walk away with a deeper understanding of the impact of lower proportions of African-American, Latino, and female students that are proficient in math and science, compared to their peers and how that affects their opportunities to pursue higher education in these fields.
By engaging in an interactive AR/ VR experience of STEAM pathways and parent engagement in community STEAM events, participants will experience how early and consistent exposure of STEM education creates college and career opportunities for students of color.
Participants will leave with models and ideas that can be implemented immediately in schools. Participants will also collaborate on and leave with a reflection tool with guiding questions and next steps to engage their school or district in creating equitable STEAM pathways.


5 mins: Interactive: Examining Core Beliefs and Challenge
Share our core beliefs and challenges (peer to peer)
Collect data through Nearpod and share out Common challenges
Interactive Nearpod: What are some challenges for STEAM education
5 mins: Building the STEAM K-12 Pipeline: Programs and Curriculum
Examine how Compton has developed a K-12 STEAM Pathway with Example (interactive Nearpod)
5 mins: Engaging Parents and Communities to build STEAM Culture (Interactive Nearpod)
10 min Gallery walk of 1 minute video vignettes of AR/ QR with STEAM
 Participant will choose 5 and provide peer to peer feed back on innovation
15 mins: Interactive: Inclusive Innovations and STEAM pathway roadmap tool

Supporting research

Estrada, M. (2014). Ingredients for improving the culture of STEM degree
attainment with co-curricular supports for underrepresented minority
students. (Commissioned paper for National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine). Retrieved January 13, 2017, from https://sites

Estrada, M., Burnett, M., Campbell, A. G., Campbell, P. B., Denetclaw, W. F.,
Gutiérrez, C. G., ... Zavala, M. (2016). Improving underrepresented minority student persistence in STEM. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 15(3),
es5. doi: 10.1187/cbe.16-01-0038

Rainey, K., Dancy, M., Mickelson, R., Stearns, E., & Moller, S. (2018). Race and gender differences in how sense of belonging influences decisions to major in STEM. International Journal of STEM Education, 5:10.

Dika, S. L., & D'Amico, M. M. (2016). Early experiences and integration in the persistence of first-generation college students in STEM and non-STEM majors. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 53(3), 368–383.

Henriksen D 2014 Full STEAM Ahead: Creativity in Excellent STEM Teaching Practices The STEAM Journal 1 2
Moore T, Stohlmann M, Wang H, Tank K, Glancy A and Roehrig G 2014 Implementation and integration of engineering in K-12 STEM education. In S. Purzer, J. Strobel, & M. Cardella (Eds.), Engineering in Pre-College Settings: Synthesizing Research, Policy, and Practices 35–60 West Lafayette: Purdue University Press
Zollman, A. (2012). Learning for STEM literacy: STEM literacy for learning.
School Science and Mathematics, 112 (1), 12-19.

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Alvaro Brito, Compton Unified School District

As a 21st Century Learning Specialist, my role is to support students and teachers in the implementation of STEAM initiatives and innovation in the classroom. This position challenges me to assist educators in developing engaging lessons using educational technology tools and shift their pedagogy to student-centered learning. In this role I also have the great opportunity to support our Compton Unified Esports League (CUEL) and FIRST LEGO League Challenge initiatives working alongside talented and amazing coaches & partners who support friendly competition to support our STEAM initiatives.

Michele Dawson, Compton Unified

Michele Dawson has 25 years of experience as a leader in instructional technology. Currently she serves as Senior Director, Technology and Innovation for Compton Unified where she leads 21st Century Learning and technology integration. As an accomplished grant writer, Michele was accepted to the League of Innovative Schools, awarded the VILS grant and wrote the EETT competitive for which she garnered a CSBA Golden Bell Award. Recently she received the RISE Award from the NSBA. Michele is committed to closing the achievement gap for underserved students through the lens of equity and social justice.

Jose Ramirez, Compton Unified

I’m a 21st Century Learning Specialist, my role is to support students and teachers in the integration of technology with the curriculum. Also help implement STEAM initiatives and innovations in the classroom such as coding and robotics. Supporting teachers to meet the challenges of the 21st century and supporting teachers in creating engaging lessons using educational technology tools and shifting their pedagogy to student-centered and their roles as facilitators.In this role I also have the great opportunity to support our students LEGO Explorers and coding initiatives with the support of great partners.

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