Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015
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In 2013, through a collaboration with Rap Genius and GZA, Professor Chris Emdin (Science Education) initiated a program focusing on utilizing the power of hip-hop music and culture, while introducing youth to the wonder and beauty of science. The core message of Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S (Bringing Attention to Transforming Teaching, Learning and Engagement in Science) is to meet urban youth who are traditionally disengaged in the science classroom on their cultural turf by providing them with opportunities to express the same passion they have for hip-hop culture for science.
Professor Emdin reflects that "Part of the reason why I chose science or why I work in science or STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics] is because while there are achievement gaps in other disciplines as far as English, social studies, and history, the gaps either triple or quadruple when it comes to STEM. It's about giving STEM education to the young people in a way that makes sense to them." Edmund Adjapong, a TC science doctoral student and coordinator for the Science Genius program and the final battles, adds, "The Science Genius Program provides students with the rare opportunity to feel like celebrities in their communities based on their ability to create science-themed raps. Our students finally have an authentic avenue to be their true selves while engaging in science!"
This year, twenty-five students from ten New York City Public Schools participated in the third annual Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S. With guest judges Derek Luke (actor), Jacqueline Howard (Huffington Post Writer) and SAMMUS (Cornell doctoral student and rapper), a group of five students from ELLIS Preparatory Academy won the battle with a science-themed rap about DNA.For more information about Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S., please visit http://HipHopEd.com/sciencegenius.