Vinh Nguyen – 11th – 12th Grade Science teacher
Diego Rivera Learning Complex, Performing Arts Community School
Los Angeles Unified School District
Project: Designing A More Inclusive World: Challenging Ableism Through Neuroprosthetics
Grant Award: $1309.93

My name is Vinh Nguyen and I am a biology and physiology teacher serving the scholars of Diego Rivera Learning Complex, Performing Arts Community School (PACS). As a product of public schooling myself, and as a first generation immigrant, I believe we all carry powerful narratives and are agents of our own empowerment. As a teacher now, I hope to facilitate lessons that leverage the knowledge and gifts student already bring to the classroom and build on their ability to be change agents within their communities and greater world.

This project asked students to design and reimagine ways of supporting disabled folks/ folks with disabilities in regards to what it might mean for certain folks to navigate through a predominantly ableist society. The learning in this project was enhanced through the generous LIFT Grant which was used to purchase college-level neuroscience kits. These kits provided scholars a first-hand experience on how nuero-prostheses work, connecting what they have learned about the muscular, skeletal, and nervous system to a real-world application. After exploring these kits, scholars then reflected and discussed ways in which they can use their knowledge and agency to design and reimagine tools (e.g. neuro-prosthetic device) and spaces (e.g. playgrounds, sidewalks, etc.) to be more accessible to different bodies and minds, especially for folks with mental, visual, hearing, neurological and physical disabilities