Family Learning Opportunities in Engineering and Science

  • Amanda M. Gunning Mercy College Dobbs Ferry, New York
  • Meghan E. Marrero Mercy College
  • Zoila Morell Mercy College
Keywords: Elementary science, family learning, bilingual, ELL, engineering, STEM, science education


Students who are of low socio-economic status or English language learners do not have the same opportunities to learn science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). These students are the future citizenry and need the tools a good STEM education can provide to, not only make decisions for themselves and their families, but for their communities and our world. Our study in the United States examined how working with English- and Spanish-speaking kindergarteners and their parents in science and engineering sessions provided the opportunity for these low-income families to do science and engineering activities together. We found the experiences helped students learn more about science, scientific practices, and developed science self-efficacy in parents, who changed the way they talked about everyday science with their children.  The model of educating children and parents together, using their home languages, to promote STEM learning, builds upon the important work in this field.

Author Biographies

Amanda M. Gunning, Mercy College Dobbs Ferry, New York
Assistant Professor, Science Education
Meghan E. Marrero, Mercy College
Associate Professor, Science Education
Zoila Morell, Mercy College
Associate Professor, Leadership
Manuscripts (Research or Theory)