On January 14 Dr. Courtney D. Cogburn from Columbia University demonstrated a virtual reality experience that she has developed to help combat racism. Hamlin faculty members participated in this activity in Ms. Holland Greene’s office.
Dr. Cogburn directs a research group that uses innovative means to characterize and measure racism and evaluate its effects on mental and physical health.
Associate Professor Courtney D. Cogburn employs a transdisciplinary approach to examining the role of racism in the production of racial inequalities in health. She is on the faculty of the Columbia Population Research Center and a faculty affiliate of the Center on African American Politics and Society and the Data Science Institute. The National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Brown Institute for Media Innovation at the Columbia School of Journalism have supported her work.
Grade 1 students have spent much of their school year exploring San Francisco and the people who live in our city. Students began by asking: How can we demonstrate good citizenship in our local community? Girls took walks around the Hamlin neighborhood in order to: make observations, think about the needs of a community, and speak with people who live and work nearby. 1st graders looked at different kinds of maps, made their own maps, and followed maps on the neighborhood walks. The girls also had an opportunity to explore their own home neighborhoods and teach their peers about what they discovered through creating poster boards with photos.
As part of this work, students conducted interviews with community members taking on various roles such as: interviewer, microphone expert, and photographer. Core to this project-based learning endeavor was the integration of technology for conducting interviews and sharing findings. Students utilized GarageBand, QR codes, and the Cardboard Camera app (among others). Hamlin’s tech team has been working with 1st grade teachers for multiple years to support and strengthen this far-reaching pedagogy.