This session aired at ScIC6 Science is Cool Virtual STEM Summit on Thursday, August 5, 2021.

Demonstrate science with a situation specific to your local area and you will rally support easily. Our panelists chat about how to use local phenomena to teach science concepts and get the community involved.


Xochitl Garcia  K-12 Education Program Director | Science Friday

Xochitl Garcia is the K-12 education program manager at Science Friday, where she focuses on supporting the inspiring efforts of educators (of all types) to engage students in science, engineering, math, and the arts. After graduating from Occidental College and working with high school students in Los Angeles, Xochitl moved to New York. She taught middle and high school science in the Bronx for over seven years. She can often be seen making a mess trying out new experiments and activities, developing teacher trainings/programs, and planning ways to connect Science Friday media to classrooms.


Dr. Na'Taki Osborne-Jelks  Assistant Professor of Environmental and Health Sciences | Spelman College

Dr. Na’Taki Osborne Jelks is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental and Health Sciences Program at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. She develops, implements, and evaluates community-based initiatives that set conditions to enable low-income and communities of color to empower themselves to reduce exposure to environmental health hazards and improve health and quality of life. Jelks is particularly interested in participatory science approaches that engage environmentally overburdened communities in monitoring local environmental conditions, generating actionable data for community change, and developing effective community-based interventions that revitalize toxic, degraded spaces into healthy places.


Shannon Baldioli  Educator Engagement Specialist | Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Shannon Baldioli works on the school programs team at the National Air and Space Museum, overseeing educator professional development efforts. She first taught in public schools before transitioning to the museum world, where she's worked with youth interpreters, teachers and students. She is passionate about accessibility in museum exhibitions, informal education as a transformative experience for students, helping teachers bring authentic experiences into the classroom, houseplants, and senior pitbulls.

Dr. Eugene Cordero Founder | Green Ninja

Dr. Eugene Cordero is a climate scientist and professor in the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science at San José State University. Eugene is also the founder and director of Green Ninja, a science publisher that uses solutions to climate and environmental problems as a lens for teaching science.

Notes and Resources:

PocketLab Voyager used in the Smithsonian's Light Pollution Project

Urban Heat Islands Project in Atlanta

PocketLab Weather used in the Urban Heat Island Project

Eugene's Research Paper

Science Friday Educate

Qualities of a Good Anchor Phenomenon for a Coherent Sequence of Science Lessons at StemTeachingTools

Focusing Science and Engineering Learning on Justice-Centered Phenomena across PK-12 at StemTeachingTools

Forest Fire Lesson from PocketLab Notebook

BabyLegs Program mentioned by Xochitl

Sign up for PocketLab Notebook to be a part of the Citizen Science project mentioned by Eugene

Air Quality Tracking 

Heat Island Project in PocketLab Notebook 

Cubes in Space - Global Engineering Design Competition for Students 11-18 Years

Green and Brown Anole Project shared by Diane Hickey


ScIC6 STEM Summit Video Library


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