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Bravery and Vulnerability in Youth Community Science

Thu, April 8, 12:00 to 1:00pm EDT (12:00 to 1:00pm EDT), SIG Sessions, SIG-Informal Learning Environment Research Roundtable Sessions


Focussing on experiences of vulnerability and bravery (Lee et al, 2003; Carlone et al, 2015), we examine participation in community science (CS) as a process of stepping into shared, often public, spaces - spaces that can be and feel dangerous to young people of color. Analyzing interviews and field notes from two water quality monitoring projects, we found that while CS could create a bind, as identities and strategies constructed as adaptive in the science classroom become liabilities in a more public setting. While we saw opportunities for transformative social, intellectual and physical risk-taking in CS, these needed to be accompanied by protective factors, such as boundary objects that allowed participants control over how and to whom identities were shared.