Combining Science and Math with Civic Engagement

Woodbury mathematics professor, Dr. Eugene Allevato, believes strongly in the power of science and mathematics. He is also passionate about the role of civic engagement in the classroom as an important method to both learn and give back to communities in need.

These elements came together during his recent involvement with a Bridge Builders Foundation STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) event in Culver City. The foundation seeks to uplift underserved youth in the Los Angeles area, encouraging them to seek and achieve higher life aspirations, as well as remove barriers to academic achievement.

Dr. Allevato is passionate about helping all students — regardless of their backgrounds or past experiences — see the value of STEAM education. “I want to teach children about the role that science and math play in their everyday lives,” he says. But providing such opportunities for younger children is only part of the story for Dr. Allevato. He also wants to provide his own students at Woodbury with an opportunity to become directly involved with their community and, in the process, enhance their own education.

“I don’t only teach in the classroom,”Dr. Allevato says. “I take students out into the world to give them opportunities to help their communities, explore their creativity, and illustrate their abilities within their fields of interest. I think it’s important to provide opportunities for students to engage in something related to their fields of study,” he continued. “An animation student might draw a cartoon that relates to the scientific method; a film student might create a documentary telling a narrative about what we are doing; an English student might write an inspirational speech.”

“Teaching is much more than giving instruction,” Dr. Allevato says. “Teaching is the act of enabling, nurturing and giving people opportunities and encouragement to grow.”

Watch a student-produced video about the project:

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