Solution Overview

What is the name of your organization?

Culturally Relevant Science

What is the name of your solution?

Representing Girls Within K-12 STEM Curriculum

Provide a one-line summary of your solution.

Culturally Relevant Science develops diverse, equitable, and inclusive STEM curriculum that includes representations of young girls and other underrepresented students to increase their academic engagement, achievement, and pursuit of STEM careers.

Film your elevator pitch.

What specific problem are you solving?

The specific problem Culturally Relevant Science is solving is the current underrepresentation of young girls and other underrepresented groups in K-12 STEM curriculum. According to the National Girls Collaborative Project’s 2023 report “The State of Girls and Women in STEM,” only 34% of the U.S. STEM workforce are women, and it drops even lower to 10% for women of color. Of those women that make it into STEM careers, only ~20% become physicists, engineers, or computer scientists. Culturally Relevant Science knows that such a deficit of women scientists comes from the current underrepresentation of them in the STEM curriculum being taught in classrooms. Remember Bill Nye? There is nothing wrong with the informative and engaging content delivered in these video lessons. However, the videos do contribute to the stereotypical image of what a scientist must look and act like. In other words, Bill Nye is a white guy with crazy hair and a quirky personality. How relatable is that to a young girl, especially a young girl of color? 

The detrimental effects of scientist stereotypes have been studied throughout generations in what are called Draw-A-Scientist experiments. According to David Miller’s 2018 article, only 58% of young girls in 2016 are drawing female scientists when asked. Despite this being a tremendous increase from 33% in 1985, there are still 42% of young girls that are not drawing women scientists. This is a significant problem because all young girls - no matter the age, grade, or cultural background - should draw a scientist in the gender they identify as. Not doing so suggests that young girls have been conditioned to believe scientists are mainly men, and we know this conditioning occurs because of what is shown in classrooms… or really what is not shown. After all, seeing is believing! Young girls must see depictions of women scientists from all walks of life in the science videos they watch, the case studies they investigate, and the discussions they engage in. This representation makes them believe that a job as a scientist is truly for people of the same gender as them.

What is your solution?

Culturally Relevant Science’s solution is to create a digital learning platform, full of STEM curriculum that incorporate girls and other underrepresented students. The platform will lead to an increase in engagement of those groups, and in the long run, increase their achievement and pursuit of STEM careers. There are three major types of resources that we develop for our curriculum - animated video lessons, live-action lab videos, and traditional classroom activities. The curriculum we build is rigorously aligned to national Next Generation Science Standards and local Georgia Standards of Excellence

Intentionality is important to us. Our animated video lessons contain a cartoon cast of teachers and students from diverse cultural groups, half of them being girls. In these videos, the students look and sound like GenZ students of today. They love Hot Cheetos, TikTok dances, and their cell phones. In addition to these funny details, they are also all very intelligent learners of science. The discourse in these videos are inspired by real conversations between students and teachers. For example, many Black and Brown students believe their melanin is sufficient protection from the sun. So we made a video where our students come back from the beach, and the teacher relates sunburns and sunscreen to ozone depletion, UV radiation, skin cancer, and skin color. Check out our most popular video lesson “Lab Safety Dos and Donts,” which has over 17K views on YouTube and comments from viewers across the world! 

Our live-action lab videos are hosted by teenage girls of colors that are real students in science classrooms today, not actresses. Me and my co-founder are still in the classroom, so we have direct access to students. Check out Jani’ and Bre’Asia explain enzymes and reaction rates, our very first student video from ~two years ago. Whether they have braided hair or speak in AAVE, the students hosting our videos dress and sound however they want because these factors do not affect how they handle fancy science equipment or use advanced scientific vocabulary. In other words, these videos portray intelligence, confidence, and joy for girls and other underrepresented groups from all walks of life, something that videos like Bill Nye failed to address.

Our traditional classroom activities include slideshows, assessments, lab reports, case studies, and discussions that incorporate historical women and other underrepresented figures excluded from textbooks. For example, we have a Henrietta Lacks discussion activity to introduce cancer and cell division in biology classes. The activity requires students to do a deep-dive into the personal life of Mrs. Lacks and her HeLa cells that were stolen without her consent. Students learn that her cells contributed to various medical advancements, but they also examine social justice in regard to medical mistrust of doctors amongst the Black community. By including stories like Mrs. Lacks, girls, particularly girls of color, see that women have contributed to STEM for a very long time, and they grow a sense of pride in knowing that.

Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

One target population Culturally Relevant Science impacts directly are young girls and other underrepresented students. These students have been severely excluded from the STEM curriculum being taught in schools, and need to see more of themselves. To understand their needs, our team has taught, and is still teaching, science for 10+ years in low-income public schools throughout Atlanta with predominantly Black and Brown student populations. Therefore, we see firsthand the flaws in district curriculum, as it is too white, male, heteronormative, and outdated. As a result, these students are disengaged from the lessons, and they view STEM as something for other people, and not for them. Because we have direct access to students, we also use them to pilot the resources we create. Therefore, they provide us immediate feedback in the development of our solution. For instance, when we created the Henrietta Lacks discussion activity, we had our students write testimonials about the activity. One Black girl student wrote, “I feel like her story should be brought up and told in schools because it is too important and controversial. If she had not come along, then some of the viruses out in the world would still be around without a cure.” This shows you that the students themselves know that there is a need for more representation in the STEM curriculum. Just listen to these students discuss their views about the impact of Culturally Relevant Science’s resources.

The second target population our solution impacts directly are the teachers of young girls and other underrepresented students. These teachers need access to resources that will make increasing the representation of their students as easy as possible. Again, we know teacher needs because we are those teachers. We know how important it is to create the most engaging and inclusive learning experience for students, but we also know how many hours are spent trying to do this. Which is why our digital learning platform will become the one-stop-shop for teachers to find culturally relevant STEM education resources for all their science courses. Like students, we have direct access to a plethora of science educators throughout various Georgia school districts. Therefore, as we create resources, we share them with other educators through YouTube and our supplemental learning hub, and receive feedback via comments or direct testimonials. One woman from Atlanta Public Schools showed our lab safety video to her classes and direct-messaged us, “OMG!!! You guys are AMAZING!!! I was dying laughing at the lab safety video. You truly know our students and the video was so culturally relevant to SCIENCE.”

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Currently, our team at Culturally Relevant Science consists of two full-time co-founders: Meagan Naraine (myself) and Tamir Mickens. We exist in close proximity to the communities of students that we are serving because we have been and are still teachers for 10+ years. In turn, our experiences with students are the furthest thing from outdated. We know the types of videos that interest them, the phrases they say, the snacks they like, the clothes they wear, and the questions they will ask. All of these experiences guide our creative process when we develop curriculum. Additionally, all of the resources we build are implemented on real students to gather immediate feedback from them before we officially upload content.

Likewise, we are in close proximity to the teachers we serve because, again, we are teachers ourselves. We know the personal struggles of being a science teacher that wants to create a better curriculum, but finding the time and energy to do so is nearly impossible. We ask teachers that we work alongside to test our curriculum out in their classes, and then receive testimonials from them. Overall, when those teachers compare our curriculum to what they were using prior, they generally say ours is more hands-on, engaging, and fun for our target student populations. Listen to Ms. Ladonna Jones, the first teacher beyond me and Tamir to use our physical science curriculum for an entire school year.  

On a more personal note, Tamir and I also belong to a lot of these underrepresented groups we are seeking to include in STEM curriculum. Tamir is a black, gay man, and I am an Indo-Caribbean, lesbian woman. Even our part-time web developer, Halsey Quinn, is a white woman who is a Grace Hopper software engineer. When we were students ourselves, our science teachers’ lessons did not intentionally incorporate people like us, despite how much we needed them! As a result, we are committed to bringing more representation of younger selves into STEM classrooms.

Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

  • Support K-12 educators in effectively teaching and engaging girls in STEM in classroom or afterschool settings.

In what city and state is your solution team headquartered?

Atlanta, GA, USA

What is your solution’s stage of development?

Growth: An organization with an established product, service, or business model that is rolled out in one or more communities

How many people does your solution currently serve?

Directly, Culturally Relevant Science’s curriculum serves 25,000+ students in Georgia and the United States. This number includes teachers that Tamir and I know for a fact are using our curriculum resources. For example, we both worked at Banneker High School in Fulton County. As instructional coach for 3 years there, Tamir had the entire science department (10 teachers) implementing our resources. With every teacher comes ~35 students per the 6 courses they taught, averaging about 2,100 per year. Similarly, I am a Georgia State University DSPETL Fellow, a cohort of 10 science teachers that are also dedicated to creating more inclusive STEM education. These teachers teach in districts all throughout the Metro Atlanta area, such as Atlanta Public Schools, Dekalb County, Rockdale County, Clayton County, and Fulton County. And, they have also been implementing our resources for ~3 years, averaging another 2,100 per year. And finally, we impact teachers through professional development and conference speaking. For the past 3 years, we have had 4 speaking engagements, each having ~15 teacher attendees from different parts of the Southeastern United States. This adds another 12,600 students to our impact. 

In 2022, we were contracted by an educational consulting company to write a culturally relevant physics curriculum. This company serves charter schools in New Jersey, expanding our impact across 2 states. This curriculum will be used directly on students in their partnering high schools. In 2023, a principal at a middle school in Atlanta Public Schools will be buying a physical science curriculum from us. This will become our second paying customer, and add another 4 more teachers to our  direct impact. 

Indirectly, Culturally Relevant Science serves an exponentially growing number of teachers, students, and simply interested individuals through our Youtube channel and supplemental learning hub. Our YouTube channel has ~1,000 subscribers and 44,000+ total views. Comments on our videos show that teachers across the country and world are implementing our videos within their classrooms. Furthermore, data analytics show that we have viewers beyond Atlanta, Georgia, such as in New York City, Houston, Philippines, India, and Canada. In regard to our learning hub which is hosted on Wix, data analytics show that we have had ~2,000 site sessions within the last year, 1,100 of them being unique visitors. Most site sessions come from direct type-ins, Instagram, Goggle, and Twitter, and like YouTube, it shows users from the Philippines, India, and even the UK.

Why are you applying to the Challenge?

Culturally Relevant Science faces various challenges that Solve and Tiger Global Impact Ventures can help us overcome:

  1. Financial - While operating as an official 501(c)(3), we have raised $50,000+ in crowdfunding and grants. Although a substantial amount, it is not enough to provide for the time and infrastructure required to develop our digital learning platform. As I mentioned earlier, Tamir and I are still classroom teachers. This is primarily due to our organization lacking the funding for us to commit full-time. Also mentioned earlier, Tamir makes the video content and we have a part-time web developer, which is not even close to the amount of personnel needed to build the platform. Therefore, we need funding to outsource these roles and speed development up. 

  2. Entrepreneurial - Because Tamir and I are career educators, our entrepreneurship knowledge is limited. So as we grow and develop, we rely on fellowships and other programs that can not only offer us funding, but also coaching and mentorship on various business sectors we know very little about. Since our formation in March 2022, we have participated in Teach For America’s Social Innovation 1.0 and 2.0 Fellowship, 4.0 Schools' Tiny Fellowship, Pro Bono Partnerships of Atlanta’s Black-Led Nonprofit Legal Bootcamp, and Georgia State University’s Main Street Entrepreneurs Seed Fund. We did Social Innovation first, and they helped us ideate, create our mission, and construct our very first pitch. Then we did 4.0 Schools, where our coach encouraged us to run a pilot plan of customer discovery conversations to see what curriculum needs actually existed in schools. Next was Pro Bono Partnerships of Atlanta, which educated us on legal policies such as board formation, budgeting, and contract creation. And currently, we are participating in Main Street, which will help expand our knowledge on developing edtech. Without jumping into these opportunities, we would know little to nothing about running a successful nonprofit. Therefore, we need the 6-month Support Program that is being offered, beyond the funding. 

  3. Legal - With the curriculum we create, we will license it to schools. This will require us to copyright the resources that are produced. Additionally, it will require us to devise contracts between schools to ensure our curriculum is not duplicated and wrongfully given to other schools. Again, we are merely classroom teachers, and thus, we are seeking partnerships in the law sector to help ensure we complete these processes properly. 

  4. Tech - As mentioned early, the curriculum and digital learning platform that we will create require much more manpower than Tamir and I currently have. Thus, we are seeking tech partnerships that will provide this manpower. 

  5. Marketing - With the digital learning platform will also come needs for marketing expansion. Right now, our social media accounts are operated by Tamir and myself. We attempt to stay current with times, and make posts that engage audiences, but it is all too time-consuming. We need experts help. Therefore, we also hope to be connected with marketing organizations.

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Meagan Naraine (me) and Tamir Mickens

How is your Team Lead connected to the community or communities in which your project is based?

Both Tamir and myself are co-team leads for Culturally Relevant Science's project. We are connected to the community of our target populations of students and teachers by still being science teachers in Title I Atlanta schools. Tamir has taught middle and high school for 10 years in Clayton County Schools and Fulton County Schools, and has been a science instructional coach for teachers for 4 years. I have taught middle and high school science for 6 years in Fulton County Schools and Atlanta Public Schools. Therefore, both of us continuously improve our solution via the direct connections we have within the schools, teachers, and students we encounter.

Tamir and I are also both alumni teachers of Teach For America Metro Atlanta, an educational nonprofit dedicated to making education more equitable. Tamir was placed in Atlanta in 2014, while I was placed in 2018. Through this massive network of educators and innovators, we have been provided fellowships, pitch competitions, and networking events that continuously support our growth and development. In fact, Tamir has just received a new job with them as a Manager of Teacher Leadership and Development (MTLD) in Atlanta. In this position, he will be welcoming incoming corps members and help train them to be equity-driven. Therefore, both of us get to continuously bring awareness to other school leaders and teachers dedicated to the same mission. 

Finally, Tamir and I have also completed graduate studies at Georgia State University. Tamir received his M.Ed in 2018, while I received my M.A.T. in 2021. Georgia State’s college of education has a particular focus on teaching Black and Brown kids in urban settings, so both of our degrees consisted of coursework dedicated to this. At Georgia State, I am a current Georgia State University DSPETL Teaching Fellow under the prominent leader in science education Dr. Natalie King. This fellowship focuses on developing STEM teachers from diverse cultural backgrounds that teach students from diverse cultural backgrounds. I am part of a cohort of 24 other teachers across at least five Atlanta school districts, who believe in our mission and are just as willing to pilot our resources in their classrooms.

Please specify how you first heard about Solve.

Georgia Center for Nonprofits

More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

Culturally Relevant Science’s solution is innovative because it creates a digital learning platform of STEM curriculum that is culturally relevant to young girls and other underrepresented groups. Through the pilot plan we executed during our participation in 4.0 Schools’ Tiny Fellowship, we interviewed 15 school leaders from public, private, and charter schools throughout Atlnata to see what their biggest pain points were regarding current STEM curriculum. 100% of those leaders said that their biggest challenge was finding a platform that incorporated cultural relevance on a daily basis, and not just supplementally when it fit. They currently use platforms like STEMScopes, Foss, and Achieve3000, which provide accessible learning modules, but hardly incorporate diverse cultural backgrounds. So, teachers have to either find additional resources or make their own from scratch - both of which require unpaid overtime. One principal from Fulton County Schools stated in his interview, “Kids aren't interested in STEM because kids can't relate and they don't see themselves being successful.” This shows an immediate need, from school leaders themselves, for a digital learning platform that is rigorous, standards-aligned, AND culturally relevant. View our entire summary report from the customer discovery interviews here.

Our solution could catalyze broader positive impact from others in this space by normalizing including students’ cultural backgrounds when building curriculum. How a student identifies should not be ignored when schools and their districts make or buy curriculum to teach them. Culture should be considered for every learning standard, every lesson, every video or activity that a student encounters. Our digital learning platform will initiate doing this, and change the market by making schools think intentionally about the student human beings that are sitting in their classrooms, and how to best engage them for academic success.

What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and how will you achieve them?

Next year’s impact goals are:

  1. Bring more representation into STEM curriculum: We will achieve this by launching our digital platform for at least two science courses. These courses will contain resources that incorporate representations of girls and other underrepresented groups on a daily basis.

  2. Improve teacher access to culturally relevant STEM curriculum: We will achieve this on our digital platform by having everything for teachers from the first day to the last, such as slideshows, assessments, worksheets, lab, video lessons, etc. This will significantly decrease the amount of time teachers have to spend searching for or creating content.

The next five year’s impact goals are: 

  1. Encourage more girls and underrepresented groups to pursue STEM careers: We will achieve this by creating curriculum that builds more confident and engaged students who score higher on academic assessments

  2. Normalize culturally relevant STEM curriculum being taught in schools: We will achieve this by creating courses for all core sciences and recruiting more schools as customers nationwide. This will remove all barriers for teachers.

How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

Our team is measuring progress towards our impact goals in various ways. First and foremost, we collect student and teacher testimonials via surveys and interviews. There is no better way than to ask our target populations directly. For students in particular, we conduct pre- and post-surveys at the beginning and end of the school year to see how their perception of STEM has changed after encountering our resources. In the survey we conducted during the 2021-2022 school year, data showed that students' perceptions of themselves as scientists doubled, as did their likelihood to pursue a STEM career. In that same survey, one student wrote, “Before, my perception of science was very negative… My view is a lot better now and I've realized how fun science actually is!” This student is black and trans and an artist with science being nowhere on her radar. Check out our two most recent testimonials - one from students and one from a teacher - that show even more progress towards our impact goals. 

Another way we measure progress is by tracking the number of customers  we write curriculum for and the states they operate in. In 2022, we were contracted by Equity Consulting Group in New Jersey to write a physics curriculum for their partnering charter schools. They work with over 50 schools! Another principal in Atlanta Public Schools is purchasing a physical science curriculum in August 2023 for teachers in his middle school. This gives us two customers that work in two different states. 

From the schools we work with, we also measure progress by analyzing pre and post standardized test data. The first school we launched in, Banneker High School, saw a rise from 45% to 60% in content mastery on their Georgia Milestones End-of-Course Biology Assessment. Similarly, the second school we launched in, John Lewis Invictus Academy in Atlanta Public Schools, saw a rise from 19% to 38% in content mastery on their 8th Grade Science Assessment, and a rise from 78% to 96% in their content mastery on their Physical Science Assessment.  

Another way we are measuring progress is by analyzing data analytics from our YouTube channel and supplemental learning hub. Both of these offer us a breakdown about the people who use our sites. For instance, we can see how many of our views come from women vs men, the age groups that use our content, and how many of our visitors are one-time visitors versus returning. Additionally, we see what subjects and topics they spend the most time on in our learning hub, and where geography-wise our visitors mainly come from. For instance from Wix, we know that our most popular course is biology, our returning-visitors rate is up by 46%, and our number of site sessions is up by 26%. From YouTube, we know we have a total of 43,000 views, the most popular videos are our cartoon animated ones, and people in major US cities such as Atlanta, New York, and Ho

Describe in simple terms how and why you expect your solution to have an impact on the problem.

To create a digital learning platform of STEM curriculum that is representative of girls and other underrepresented groups, the followings activities must be carried out:

  • Engage in customer discovery to find schools willing to purchase curriculum 

  • Hire freelance web developers to code the learning management system

  • Hire freelance video content creators to speed-up course creation

  • Create two full courses by the end of year one, and eight by year 5

  • Collect quantitative and qualitative data from surveys and testimonials from school leaders, teachers, and students who have encountered our curriculum

These activities will yield the following outputs: 

  • Increase the number of schools we have on our digital learning platform as customers

  • Increase the number of STEM resources available that include representations of girls and other underrepresented  groups

  • Increase teacher access to STEM resources that include representations of girls and other underrepresented  groups

These outputs will then lead to the following short-term outcomes:

  • Increase classroom engagement of girls and other underrepresented groups, via instilling confidence and joy

  • Increase academic achievement of girls and other underrepresented groups, via standardized testing

And, also the following long-term outcomes:

  • Decrease teacher burnout amongst STEM educators who wish to implement culturally relevant curriculum but do not have the time to create it

  • Increase the number of girls and other underrepresented groups pursuing STEM career pathways

If your solution is tech-based, describe the core technology that powers your solution.

Currently, the core technology that powers Culturally Relevant Science’s solution are various content creation resources. Our supplemental learning hub is powered by Wix. Here, we house all of our resources sorted by subject and learning standard for teachers to download. To animate and edit our videos, we use Adobe Creative Cloud, InShot, and Envato Elements. All video production is done by co-founder Tamir Mickens and part-time team member Halsey Quinn. We publish our video content on our YouTube channel for people throughout the country and world to view. To create other resources like worksheets and lab reports, we use Canva Premium. 

Solve and Tiger Global Impact Ventures will expand our core technology by allowing us to outsource the creation of our digital learning platform. This platform will be a hybrid of online, module-based resources and resources for traditional, in-person learning. It will house comprehensive science courses, spanning all learning standards, that will be licenseable to schools so that their teachers can easily access and implement them. Instead of having to rely on YouTube and Wix, we will have everything coded into our own learning management system, and it will be a one-stop-shop for culturally relevant STEM curriculum.

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new business model or process that relies on technology to be successful

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Audiovisual Media
  • Software and Mobile Applications

In which US states does your solution currently operate?

Georgia, New Jersey

In which US states will your solution be operating within the next year?

Georgia, New Jersey

Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?


How many people work on your solution team?

On Culturally Relevant Science's solution team, there are two full-time staff members: myself, Meagan Naraine, and my co-founder, Tamir Mickens. Tamir animates and edits videos like this one. Meagan builds the accompanying resources on our supplemental learning hub like this one

There is one part-time staff member: Halsey Quinn. She helped code our supplemental learning hub currently on Wix, and edits our live action lab videos like this one

Currently, we have no contractors. However, MIT Solve will provide us the finances and networks to help us find some to outsource for web development and content creation.

How long have you been working on your solution?

Tamir and I have been classroom science teachers for 10 years. During these years, we started building culturally relevant lesson plans. Immediately, we saw the impact this had on the engagement and achievement of underrepresented students. 

Following COVID-19 in July 2021, we unofficially launched Culturally Relevant Science. This was when we began posting free videos on YouTube and resources on our supplemental learning hub.

In March 2022, we became an official nonprofit. So, with years of teaching plus unofficial and then official launch of the organization, our team has been working on this solution for 10+ years.

What is your approach to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusivity into your work?

Diversity is the definition of Culturally Relevant Science’s leadership team. Myself, Meagan Naraine, and Tamir Mickens are the two co-founders. Tamir is a black, gay man, and I am an Indo-Caribbean lesbian woman. Halsey, our part-time software engineer, is a white woman. Therefore, collectively we “check” many of those underrepresented boxes, and first handedly we know what it is like to be students learning from a curriculum that is hardly representative of our identities. 

Not only is our team diverse, but our team also has 10+ years of experience teaching science to diverse student populations. We have taught in low-income public schools throughout Atlanta whose student populations are predominantly Black and Hispanic. Our experiences with these students guide all of our content creation. The conversations our animated students have are inspired by real-life conversations Tamir and I have had with students in our very own classrooms. This makes the humor in our videos authentic for the student populations we aim to impact.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are also strongly apparent in the curriculum we create. In our live-action labs especially, we cast Black and Hispanic students. At first, it was Tamir and I mainly doing experiments. As time went on, we realized students could relate even more if they saw someone their age, their race, their gender performing the science. This comes back to us trying to dismantle those stereotypical representations of what a “scientist” must look like. If our videos can show that being a “scientist” can look so many different ways, then those systemic barriers that prevent young girls and other underrepresented students from pursuing STEM careers will disappear.

There are other numerous ways that we intentionally promote DEI in our curriculum. For instance, in many of our video lessons we place PRIDE flags in the backgrounds. This is important to us because, not only are we queer founders, but we know how important it is for a queer student that may not be out yet to see that science is a safe space for them. Another detail we pay attention to is maintaining the authenticity of our animated characters’ voices. For example, when we added Gerardo, our Venezuelan male character, and Lisa, our Vietnamese female character, we made sure each character’s voice actor matched that identity. Additionally, if any of our worksheets contain arms or hands, like this one, we make sure those body parts are Black or brown. And finally, we also make sure our experiments cost less than ten dollars to implement and all of their materials can be acquired from local stores. This is important to us because it makes science accessible to all. It shows that you do not need expensive, fancy equipment to engage students in hands-on inquiry.

Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?

Culturally Relevant Science’s key beneficiaries are girls and other underrepresented students plus their teachers. Students’ value proposition is that they will see curriculum that is representative of themselves. This will in turn increase their confidence and engagement, their academic achievement, and their pursuit of STEM careers. Teachers’ value proposition is that they will have easy access to rigorous, standards-aligned curriculum that is also diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Our key customers are school districts and individual schools interested in normalizing culturally relevant STEM curriculum. The schools’ value proposition is  that their standardized test scores will increase, their College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) scores will increase, and their science teacher burnout rates will decrease. 

We will impact these beneficiaries and customers by creating a digital learning platform that houses STEM curriculum representative of girls and other underrepresented students. Along with creating this platform, we will also offer educator training on properly implementing the curriculum. Key resources that will go into building this product are people and finance. To scale, we need to outsource skilled web developers, video content creators, and marketing advisors. Our key partners and stakeholders are the companies we outsource from. For instance, for web development, we have been looking into BairesDev and Toptal. For video content creation, we have been surveying Fiverr and Upwork. For marketing, a company known as Digital Yalo has offered to work with us when our digital learning platform is ready. 

Our cost structure to create this product will initially be outsourcing tech support to create the digital learning platform and all of the content required for the courses. However, once this is done, our costs will shift towards marketing to more schools throughout the country, hiring even more content creators as we expand our course offerings, and hiring facilitators that lead educator training across the country. Our revenue is generated primarily through crowdfunding and grants, but when the platform is complete, our recurring revenue streams will come from licensing curriculum to schools. With surplus, we will invest our resources in nationwide marketing and acquiring physical office space. 

Our impact will be measured in various ways. First and foremost, student and teacher testimonials will be collected to show qualitative assessment of our product. This student testimonial was shown previously in the application. Here is an example of a testimonial that came from one of the very first teachers to implement our curriculum on a daily basis. Second and just as important, quantitative data from end-of-year standardized state test scores will be collected. During the 2022-2023 school year, Ms. Ladonna Jones’ test scores earned a 57% content mastery, a big jump from the previous year’s 19%. Additional quantitative data that will be collected is the total number of schools that become customers and returning customers, total number of teacher users, and total number of students impacted. We will also collect college data about how many students are pursuing the STEM route.

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Organizations (B2B)

What is your plan for becoming financially sustainable?

Culturally Relevant Science follows the service subsidization revenue model. We are an official 501(c)(3), and the majority of our financial stability currently comes from crowdfunding and grants. However, we are also selling curriculum and educator training services to schools. Upon completion of our digital learning platform, we will be able to license courses on a yearly basis, charging per school and per course. Additionally, we will charge add-on fees if the school wishes to receive demos and training on how to properly implement the learning platform. In the long run, curriculum and training will be our primary recurring revenue stream. 

Share some examples of how your plan to achieve financial sustainability has been successful so far.

Since becoming an official 501(c)(3) in March 2022, Culturally Relevant Science has secured $50,000+ in crowdfunding and grants. The grants we have received come from other organizations that are dedicated to making education, particularly STEM education, more diverse, equitable, and inclusive to all. $10,000 came from VELA Education Fund’s Microgrant, $10,000 came from 4.0 Schools’ Tiny Fellowship, $10,000 came from Plywood People’s Idea Pitch Competition, $5,000 came from Teach For America Metro Atlanta’s Shark Tank Pitch Competition, $4,000 came from Society For Science’s STEM Action Grant, $5,000 came from Georgia State University’s Main Street Entrepreneurs Seed Fund, and $750 came from Abolitionist Teaching Network’s Grants For Educators.

Additionally, we have also generated revenue through curriculum writing. Last year, we partnered with Equity Consulting Group to write a culturally relevant physics curriculum for the charter schools they work with in New Jersey. They paid us $6,000 for this one course. By August 2023, we will have a middle school principal in Atlanta Public Schools pay $10,000 for a physical science curriculum.

Solution Team

  • Meagan Naraine Co-Founder and Executive Director, Culturally Relevant Science
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