Chris Emdin at rock the school bellsOn Thursday, March 10, the Center for Innovative Practices through Hip Hop Education and Research (CIPHER) in partnership with the Career Advancement Academy (CAA) hosted Dr. Christopher Emdin who delivered his talk titled: S.T.E.M. With No Roots Bears No Fruit:  Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead in #HipHopEd.

Dr. Emdin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he also serves as Director of Science Education at the Center for Health Equity and Urban Science Education.  He is also the author of two books:  Urban Science Education for the Hip Hop Generation – Essential Tools for the Urban Science Educator and Researcher and For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…And the Rest of Y’all Too.

Like a true Hip Hop emcee, he was able to deliver his message to a packed house in such a way that it was engaging for everyone in attendance ranging from high school students, faculty and staff, college students, and administrators.  High schools that were in attendance included:  Baden, El Camino, Peninsula, and Capuchino.

His presentation centered around his teaching philosophy through #HipHopEd and his work around reality pedagogy which focuses on how to create emancipatory spaces where students’ personal narratives are interwoven in the classrooms, specifically in areas around STEM majors.  He shared accounts of students’ experiences in schools that sheds light on the causes for the lack of educational achievement of urban youth, most notably how students of color perceives themselves in educational spaces.  He also shared his insights around financial literacy through STEM and the importance of sharing this information to all students, particularly students of color, in order to buck the trend of systemic financial oppression that exists in communities of color.

This event was made possible by the President’s Innovation Fund, the President’s Council, and the support of the CTE Day Committee members:  Soledad McCarthy, Lauren Ford, Jeremy Evangelista. Pcyeta Stroud, and Monique Hernandez.  Thank you to Dr. Angelica Garcia for providing her welcome remarks in the spirit of CIPHER and Rock The School Bells.  Special thanks to Kevin Chak, Amory Cariadus, Golda Margate, and Grace Beltran for the behind the scenes work in creating this successful event.

For more information CIPHER, please contact Nate Nevado at

Article by Nate Nevado| Photos by Will Nacouzi