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To learn more...

A selection of publications tied to this project:


  • Rahm, J. (2016). Stories of learning, identity, navigations and boundary crossings in STEM in non-dominant communities: New imaginaries for research and action. Cultural Studies of Science Education 11(1), 61-75. (First online, 21 october 2014).


  • Rahm, J. (2013). Afterschool and community programs’ role in supporting immigrant youth: Stories of opportunities for youths’ identity work and learning for life. Dans N. Trépanier (Ed.), Plaidoyer pour une école communautire/Making the case for community schools. Montréal, QC : Éditions Nouvelles.


  • Rahm, J., Gorry, A., Lachaîne, A., & Kanouté, F. (2013). La littératie scientifique formelle et informelle - une dichotomie à dépasser. Dans L. Trudel, L. Dionne, & G. Reis (Eds.), Partenariats entre milieux éducatifs pour l'essor de l’éducation scientifique: recherches et pratiques novatrices. Presses de l’Université de Laval.


  • Rahm, J., Lachaîne, A., Martel-Reny, M.-P., & Kanouté, F. (2012). Le rôle des organismes communautaires dans la réussite scolaire et le développement identitaire des jeunes issus de l'immigration. Diversité Urbaine, 12(1), 87-104.

Art-Science & Immigrant Youth

In collaboration with PROMIS and its Saturday School Program « École du samedi », we put in place an Art-Science Club that met every Saturday for 75 minutes with two different groups of about 14 youth ranging in age from 8-12 years (Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Morocco, Carribean, etc.). We offered them opportunities to engage with the arts and the sciences.


Year 1:


The first year, different informal science organizations offered hands on science activities in the following areas : astronomy, ecology and biodiversity, electrical circuits, geology, computer technology. Here is a list of some of the participants:


We also worked with an artist, Eugenia Reznik, an immigrant herself from Ukraine and well known in Montreal for her unique art. She taught youth new ways to engage with art through the painting of a mural. Youth greatly enjoyed working at her elbows, creating a mural that was then exhibited in the library in their community and then given over to PROMIS

Year 2:


The second year, we worked directly with the youth developing video documentaries on science topics of interest to them. We had them brainstorm topics they wanted to explore. To get inspired, we visited some science museums in Montreal and looked through books and National Geographic Magazines. Through an exploration of these multiple texts, youth then started developing a script for their documentary, using images, voice, text and other special effects. They learned I-movie, a program that was new to most. To record themselves was new to most too and quite challenging at times. We encouraged them to integrate or create music and add some special effects.

We also worked with Eugenia Reznik and together created boxes of biodiversity, the overarching theme of the science club that year, an art project tied to the theme of the video each team produced. The art work was exhibited in the community center and then returned to the participants.

Overall, we tried to find ways to build on the funds of knowledge the youth brought with them and guide the creation of their video documentaries. The video production process not only exposed youth to science but also offered them with unique opportunities to develop their French communication and writing skills in ways that were meaningful. Most youth were allophones, speaking three languages, French, English and one or two others (the native languages of their parents who had immigrated to Canada prior to their birth or when they were very young).


All of them came to PROMIS to receive some help with their homework and were taking part in the tutoring sessions where a tutor worked with them for 75 minutes every week.


Teachers from partner schools typically referred youth to PROMIS. Given a journal that traveled forth and back between PROMIS, the parents and the teachers, educational successes could be noted and all informed about the kinds of social and academic experiences the youth lived at PROMIS.


Through youths’ engagement in the activities, they also had opportunities to develop new relationships with tutors who were volunteers from the neighbourhood high schools and its Community Colleges and the University. Working with us was another means to still further develop and enlarge their social network and learn more about future educational experiences and possibilities.


Through additional networking with Folie Technique, we could also offer youth opportunities to take part in some of their camp activities two summers in a row.

Funding (2008-2011)


Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC): Case studies of ethnically diverse youth from low-income backgrounds and their forms of participation and navigations among places of learning and science literacy development : A look at intercultural learning and positioning in relation to science.

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