Youth Teams in Education Research Program Brings High School Students to Annual Meeting
Youth Teams in Education Research Program Brings High School Students to Annual Meeting

May 2023

As part of the AERA Youth Teams in Education Research Program (YTER), 13 competitively selected teams of high school students participated in the place-based component of the 2023 Annual Meeting. The teams, which included 79 students from the U.S., Canada, and Spain, traveled to Chicago to present their research in a featured poster session and to take part in a mini-workshop.

YTER builds on AERA’s established commitment to engage with high school youth and provide opportunities that foster their interest in education research and expand their knowledge of the field. The program also aims to highlight the work of youth who are actively engaged in research that takes up critical questions related to education. In this first year of a two-year pilot, YTER attracted an expansive pool of strong proposals from across the country and around the world. Proposals are submitted by education researchers who serve as team leaders.

During the meeting in Chicago, YTER participants attended a selection of high-profile sessions, including the Opening Plenary and the Presidential Address. Program activities also included workshop sessions with leading scholars, which were designed to offer students insights into the field from multiple vantage points. In each of these sessions, the lively discussions were propelled by the students’ provocative and insightful questions about their own work and about the field.

One of the highlights of the two-day program was the featured poster session held April 14. The session, which drew a large, enthusiastic audience, offered youth researchers an opportunity to discuss their work with a broad segment of Annual Meeting attendees. The students’ research projects employed a range conceptual frameworks and methodologies to focus on a number of key issues and topics, including special education, student motivation and activism, mental health, discrimination and harassment in education contexts, social justice, and inclusive education, among others. Annual Meeting registrants can access the YTER poster presentations in the AERA i-Presentation Gallery.

“YTER creates a space for AERA to re-engage with youth researchers and showcase their work,” said Lori Diane Hill, AERA associate executive director for programs. “The level of interest from high school students around the world who are conducting high-quality education research speaks to the value of the initiative. YTER is an important extension of our commitment to cultivate the next generation of education researchers.”

A Call for Proposals for the 2024 Youth Teams in Education Research Program, which will take place during the Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, will be released in September. Questions about the program should be directed to

YTER Group Photo

2023 YTER Participants

Trinity Youth Scholars

Team Leaders: Enrique Aleman, Jr., Trinity University; and Lisa Mendoza Knecht, Trinity University

Telling the Immigrant Stories, Skarleth Elvir Betancourth, Mario Herrera, and Kimberlyn Salvador Avilez

Understanding Racism, Ashby Castañeda

The Mental Health Challenges of High School Students, Daira García Manzano and Shiara Ruiz

Youth Action Council, Impression 5 Science Center

Team Leaders: Angela Calabrese Barton and Wisam Sedawi, University of Michigan

Reclaiming Our Science Center Towards Social Justice, Jack Balzer, Frankie Calabrese Barton, Evan Bohus, Aliyah Brown, Maia James, Amyah Madison, and Grace Rose

Students for Inclusion

Team Leaders: Ignacio Calderón-Almendros, Teresa Rascón-Gómez, and Luz Mojtar-Mendieta, University of Málaga

Emerging Narratives on Inclusive Schooling, Darío Calderón‐Cano, Malena Calderón‐Cano, Antón Fontao‐Saavedra, Indira Martínez‐de‐Ilarduya, and Jorge Osa‐Fernández

Youth Research Council

Team Leaders: Meagan Call-Cummings, George Mason University; Bethany Monea, University of Pennsylvania; and Giovanni Dazzo, University of Georgia

The Intersectional Impacts of Racial Microaggressions in High Schools: A YPAR Investigation, Dyhemia Cummings, Natale Gray, Sohan Jama, Oaklen Kalinichenko, Bethlehem Tekle, and Jehan Ziboukh

Cyphers for Justice

Team Leader: Limarys Caraballo, Teachers College, Columbia University

The Silent Epidemic, Fatima Farrukh

Exploring Intersectionality: Asian American Students and Academic Excellence, Xuyin Zong

Language Experiences of International ELL Students in an American Secondary School, Catherine Lee

LGBTQIA+ Discrimination at School, Stephanie Sosa

Addressing Inequity in Special Education, Alitzah Pacheco

Exploring the Relationship between Teacher Diversity and Students’ Mental Health, Clarissa Kunizaki

Action Against Gender-Based Violence

Team Leaders: Faye Mishna, University of Toronto, Jennifer Cypher, University of Toronto Schools, and Crescencia Fong, University of Toronto Schools

Collaborating to Address Online Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Abuse, Jaya Choudhry, Akshita Nath, Kiran Oberai, and Curtis Yeung

Team Peace and Education Coalition High School/DePaul University

Team Leaders: Joby Gardner, Thomas Noel, Jr., and Rebecca Michel, DePaul University

Improving Our Community by Promoting Youth Access to Mental Health Services, Jayshaun Doyle, Andres Martinez, Derek Nash, Jr., Layla Nash, Damari Robertson, and Rotierra Smith

Thornton Fractional South High School Student Equity & Leadership Team

Team Leaders: Guadalupe Ramirez, University of Illinois; and Steven Flores, National Lewis University

Partners in Change: Using Literature to Activate Student Activism, Isis Barrett‐Rogers, Dulce Gonzalez, Aayla Holiday, Kyndall Jackson, Breanna Lopez, and Makalah Simpson

Cincinnati’s Teen Think Tank

Team Leaders:  Allison Lester, Ish Cincy

Our Community Safe Space: A Youth Participatory Action Research Project by Cincinnati's Teen Think Tank, Safa Ahmad, Shahnaz Hassan, Abigail Rubinstein, and Atlas Suarez

Columbia Heights Education Campus and the DC Education Research Collaborative

Team Leader: Dara Shaw, DC Urban Institute

A New Beginning: The Journey to Student Voice at a DC High School, Jennifer Aguilar, Gustavo Rosas Cardos, Ydidiya Nadew, Belstar Nimon‐Toki, and Elimane Samb


Team Leader: Elizabeth Stackhouse, University of Houston–Downtown

When It Personally Matters—Engaging Emergent Bilingual Students in Education Research: Investigating the Trajectories of Long-Term Emergent Bilinguals in High School, Jose Medrano, Sharai Mondragon, Esteban Posadas, and Ashley Sanchez

Freedom Area High School–Science Education Research Group

Team Leader: Brian Wargo, Freedom Area High School

The Relationship Between Engagement in and Articulation of Authentic Scientific Practice, Carter Altvatter, Brandi Bonzo, Meadow Ging‐Wargo, Leannah Messenger, and Ana Shipman

YTER Canada: We are One

Team Leaders: Rahat Zaidi, University of Calgary; Michelle Veroba, Brooks Composite High School; and Joseph Octavius, Grasslands Public High School

Activism and Advocacy During Troubled Times: A Roadmap for Improved Practices Among Newcomer Youth, Selma Abdulkadir, Kanaalaq Hoyland, Nikki Kasaba, and Cindy Li