Museum to Host STEM Opportunity Fair for Minority Students

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The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will host The Future of STEM: Back to School Minority Opportunity Fair on Saturday, Aug. 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will introduce minority students interested in science, technology, engineering and math in grades 5-12 to professionals of color working in STEM-related fields. This Opportunity Fair is part of the museum’s special programming being offered during “RACE: Are We So Different?" — a featured exhibition that runs through Oct. 22.

According to the museum's press release, statistics show that while African-Americans, American Indians and Latinos comprise upwards of 30 percent of the U.S. population, these same minorities are underrepresented in STEM occupations, earning only 12.5 percent of the degrees conferred in these fields. The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences has partnered with 30 area organizations to make this Opportunity Fair stimulating and encouraging for teachers, students and their families. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. individuals from these organizations will be on hand to answer questions, supply students with information about STEM opportunities, and offer advice on steps students should take to pursue various STEM fields.

The day concludes with a talk at 1 p.m. by teacher-turned-filmmaker Andre Robert Lee titled, “Finding Your Place When You Feel You Don’t Fit,” that details his journey to discovering his identity and purpose and how it influenced his film, “The Prep School Negro.” He will then host a panel discussion of STEM professionals from all over the Triangle who will share their journey to careers in STEM.

Panelists for the afternoon include:

  • Rene Daughtry, founder of Aisymmetry, which hosts a series of engaging robotics workshops across the Triangle. His organization works to help students understand what robots are and how to program them.
  • Dr. Chelsea Juarez, a North Carolina State University Assistant Professor from the department of sociology and anthropology, has studied the evolution of diabetes in Latino populations. Juarez conducts investigations of osteocalcin and bone density changes in archeological bone as an indicator of diabetes prevalence.
  • Veronique Moses is the program director at IBM and has a shared passion for women in technology and black entrepreneurship.
  • Crystal Harden serves as the director of programs and strategic initiatives at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. Harden worked to bring “First in Flight: A Hidden History” to the Planetarium. This exhibit shares the untold stories of women of color and their contributions in space and aviation. 

No registration is required. For more information, naturalsciences.org.

Source: The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

 

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