"Scientists Do What We Do": Empowering Youth of Color as Learners and Doers of Community-Based Scientific Research

Publication Date


Document Type

Contribution to a Book

Publication Title

Reframing Science Teaching and Learning: Students and Educators Co-developing Science Practices In and Out of School


David Stroupe



First Page


Last Page



This chapter explores how high school students of color become empowered as learners and doers of scientific research through participation in a summer science program. It examines how youth develop epistemic agency when engaging in an air quality research project in their community and how this supports identity construction in science. The chapter demonstrates how youths' epistemic agency is elevated by the importance of their research across program and local community contexts. It also focuses on a summer science program that served high school students from an under-resourced community in a California metropolitan area. The lead instructor for the summer program, Matt, had a strong research background in science. Matt described scientific research as a student-directed and knowledge-generating process. Youth designed and conducted a seven-week air quality research project involving a local commuter train. Prior to this, Matt engaged the youth in inquiries that explored relationships between air quality, industrial production, and human health.


Science Education; Teacher Education