On March 4, 2011 at the Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, California, The History Makers, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and developing African American video oral history, presented Science Makers. The event, co-sponsored by The Leadership Institute at Allen Temple and the University of California at Berkeley, engaged hundreds of Oakland residents in an evening of learning about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from black STEM professionals.
The speakers included: Dr. Krishna Foster, Chemist, California State University at Los Angeles; Dr. Dawn Wright, Oceanographer and Geographer, Oregon State University; Dr. James Johnson, Civil Engineer, Howard University; and Dr. Dale Morgan, Geophysicist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Each STEM professional gave a brief presentation about their research and career path. After the presentations the ScienceMakers were engaged in a panel discussion about their perspectives on the effects of the recent Deepwater Horizon oil spill led by Dr. Gibor Basri, Astrophysicist, University of California at Berkeley.
At the event, San Francisco Bay Area high school sophomore Natan Sebhatleab, who attends International High School and is a Level Field Playing Institute SMASH scholar, was honored for being the 3rd place winner of the ScienceMakers Youth YouTube contest. For the contest, students made videos about STEM professionals they admired.
“We were so pleased at the outpouring of interest from the Oakland and Berkeley communities. The fact that we had 400 attendees from the black community on a Friday night to listen to these scientists who traveled from around the country to talk about their lives and work was nothing short of phenomenal. We are so happy with Pastor Smith and the Allen Temple Baptist Church community as well as Dr. William Lester who serves as co-chair of our ScienceMakers Advisory Board and has worked to bring local students to our UC Berkeley program,” Julieanna Richardson, J.D., Founder and Executive Director of The HistoryMakers shared.
ScienceMakers has hosted similar events in Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Washington, DC. For more information about ScienceMakers visit their website, http://www.thehistorymakers.com/.