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Christopher  Emdin

Christopher Emdin

Professor of Science Education & Author, and Minorities in Energy Ambassador for the Department of Energy


Christopher Emdin is a tenured professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he also serves as Associate Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education. Read More >

Dr. Emdin holds a Ph.D. in Urban Education with a concentration in Mathematics, Science and Technology, a M.S. in Natural Sciences, and Bachelors degrees in Physical Anthropology, Biology, and Chemistry.

He was recently awarded the 2016 Early Career Award by the American Educational Researchers Association and 2015 Multicultural Educator of the Year by the National Association of Multicultural Educators.

Professor Emdin was also selected as a STEM Access Champion of Change by the White House, and currently serves as Minorities in Energy Ambassador for the United States Department of Energy.

Dr. Emdin is listed on the ROOT100 list of most influential African Americans in the fields of business, science, politics, technology, social justice, sports and entertainment. He was also named one of the 27 people bridging divides across America by Time magazine.

He is founder of the #HipHopEd movement, and the author of the award winning book, Urban Science Education for the Hip-hop Generation, and the New York Times bestseller, For White Folks Who Teach In The Hood…and the Rest of Ya’ll Too. His newest books Ratchetdemic and STEM, STEAM, MAKE, DREAM will be released in 2021. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Teach Teachers How to Create Magic

TEDx: Teaching & Being Rachetdemic


TEDxTeachersCollege: Reality Pedagogy

Hip-Hop and the Remix of Science Education

Convocation 2014

Speech Topics

The Crisis of Urban Education

In this presentation, Dr. Christopher Emdin lays out the current and ever-evolving sociopolitical and “in the trenches” landscape of urban education, outlines the reasons for our current national challenges, and offers research-based but often underexplored solutions. This speech explores the public/private battle in urban education, challenges of teacher training and recruitment, national policy, the newly developed common core learning standards, and new possibilities.

Teaching & Learning from the Student's Standpoint

In an age where terms like “multiculturalism” and “cultural relevance” have been littered across the educational landscape, teachers and administrators still have a challenging time implementing instructional approaches/tools that meet the needs of a diverse student population. Education speaker Christopher Emdin explores the current educational buzz words, bridges the divides between theory and practice, and provides tangible tools for educators on improving their practice.

Hip-Hop & Education

Keynote speaker Christopher Emdin explores the concept of hip-hop education and discusses what works and what doesn’t in this growing field. He outlines research-based ways that hip-hop culture can be used in education and discusses the pitfalls of hip-hop education that are rarely discussed by scholars, researchers, and a growing “hip-hop intellectual” audience. In this speech, Dr. Emdin critiques hip-hop while discussing its immense political and social potential.

Rethinking STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics)

Dr. Christopher Emdin explores participation and engagement in STEM fields and the ways that the education culture tracks students out of success in these disciplines. He uncovers reasons for youth disinterest in school and the STEM disciplines and how we can look for new educational approaches that foster participation and engagement in STEM without sacrificing rigor and content. This speech discusses what it takes to be a scientist; how educators, parents, and the general public can hone those skills in youth; and why we have no choice but to re-focus on creating a new STEM generation.