Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Science Makers: Telling the Undertold Story of African American Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Professionals

By Tokiwa T. Smith
San Francisco/Oakland contributor

As we celebrate African American history month, we would like to highlight a great project of The HistoryMakers, Science Makers, which tells the story of African American Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professionals. The History Makers is a national nonprofit that combines a reference library, video archive, oral history footage, cultural organization and internet resource. It is the largest African American oral history archive in the nation. The project highlights the accomplishments of individual African Americans, shows the breadth and depth of African American history in first person and preserves oral history for generations to come.

ScienceMakers is a project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) whose purpose is to use the stories of the ScienceMakers to encourage others, especially African Americans, to pursue STEM careers. ScienceMakers are individuals that have made significant contributions to research, education or other aspects of the STEM disciplines. The Science Makers features internationally renowned STEM professionals such as Dr. William Lester Jr., Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, Dr. James Stith and over 100 other STEM professionals.

Dr. William Lester Jr, (left) a featured chemist of the Science Makers from the San Francisco Bay area, is pictured at a Science Makers event last fall.

The ScienceMakers Project is made up of the following components:
•Interactive website and social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube)
•Public programs which include programs for youth and evening programs for adults to give them an opportunity to meet and interact with the ScienceMakers
•DVD Toolkit which includes the stories of the Science Makers and educational curriculum
•Ongoing Outreach which includes special events at its partner institutions and e-newsletters

ScienceMakers will be holding a program in the San Francisco Bay Area on Friday, March 4, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and its consequences, one year later. Speakers include: James H. Johnson, Howard University; Dawn Wright, Oregon State University; Krishna Foster, California State University; and Dale Morgan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The panel will be interviewed by Gibor Basri, Vice Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion and Professor of Astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley. The exact venue is yet to be determined.

For more information Science Makers, visit the History Makers website and click on the ScienceMakers link.

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