Sample RiNA Projects


This page highlights several ‘RiNA’ (research-informed & negotiated action) projects students have conducted – after STEPWISE-informed ‘apprenticeship’ lessons & activities – to overcome harms they determined in relationships among fields of science & technology and societies & environments (STSE). As shown at right, possible harms in STSE relationships often are controversial – sometimes known as socioscientific issues (SSIs). We encourage students to conduct both secondary & primary research to learn more about harms / issues; and, then, develop & implement several co-supportive social actions.

RiNA Projects Model

The schema at right is one way of conceiving of RiNA projects. It was initially used by Roth (2001) to depict relationships between ‘science’ & ‘technology’ (engineering); but, assuming mathematics often is involved throughout, it could also depict STEM fields. The model suggests that students’ RiNA projects can, generally, focus on World –> Sign and Sign –> World translations. Among many variations, students’ actions may be either or both suggestions (e.g., via posters) for changes in the World &/or more direct changes (e.g., new technologies) in the World.

Ontological Gaps (mis-translations) occur because of natural differences in composition between World (e.g., tree) & Sign (e.g., drawing of tree); whereas, Ideological Gaps are intentional mis-translations – such as when climate change deniers narrowly depict global temperature changes.

Research-informed Educational Actions

Many students have used their research into STSE relationships, their previous education and experiences to develop actions – like those highlighted at right (below on phones) – that are meant to educate others about harms, issues and/or possible social &/or environmental changes.

French-language Research-informed Educational Actions

After reading about Iqbal Masih, a child labourer, turned activist, in Pakistan, and after experiencing STEPWISE-informed lessons & student activities, sixth-grade students in a French-as-a-Second Language course in a Canadian private school developed videos to educate people about problems associated with common commodities. Reading about oppressed children like Iqbal Masih seemed to generate much empathy for such children among these advantaged students.

Educational Actions

Students, like others, can express themselves in different ways. Indeed, it often is best to try creating a network of co-supportive actions (i.e., a dispositif). An excellent media type to include seems to be those using formats used at RSA Animate. Perhaps more simply, a video of an interview of a prominent official (a CEO) can work well. But, perhaps very enjoyable for students are different role-playing scenarios.

Research-informed Engineering Actions

Students have used their research to design & implement engineering products & processes – like those highlighted at right – that function and promote social justice and/or environmental sustainability. As described here, we also have been working to encourage & enable students to mobilize their technologies across multiple actants.


An excellent way to celebrate & advertise student successes with RiNA projects to overcome harms they have determined in STSE relationships is to facilitate an STSE-RiNA Fair – engaging other teachers, students, parents and others.

Links to STEPWISE Framework Elements: