Thursday, October 2, 2008

Lack of Diversity in Science is Bad for our Nation, Economy.

Study says that Lack of African-Americans in Science Field Hurting Industry.

by J. Coyden Palmer

A study that surveyed Fortune 1000 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) executives representing leading science and technology companies in the United States, was released last week by Bayer Corporation.

The survey found that women, African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields and that the result could hurt the nation as a whole. The findings of the study should alarm whoever is going to be the next president of the United States the report stated. Minorities are seen as perhaps the saving grace for the country if America is going to keep its place as the leader in the STEM industry, the report noted.

Read the rest of the report on BDPA Foundation page.

I am cross-posting this article because this is one of my battle cries. The need for enhanced diversity in STEM fields - beginning with enhanced education and outreach opportunities to members of these under-represented groups.

Related posts about this topic.
Assertive STEM Education Training Programs may prove beneficial
Why 'Perfect Representation' in STEM is important

I am also a staunch supporter of community involvement and initiatives that reach out to these groups. So even if the school system can't handle it (for whatever reason) I believe and know that there is plenty of talent and energy that can pick up the slack and provide students with supplement STEM education.

I dedicate some of my time and energy to share science with students - in my real life, not just online. I participate in a variety of outreach programs from mentoring and training students in research, guest speaking, tutoring and service in my professional organizations.

So, with that in mind I want to encourage everyone to find a way to get involved to close the math & science achievement gap in this nation. Tutor. Assist with a Science Fair or Knowledge Bowl or National Computer Competition or any other academic program or fair. Have your company sponsor a Family Math and/or Science Night at the school or local community center.

Something. In fact, here's something you can do right now - and if you can leverage company or organization support that is great.

DonorsChoose is an annual fundraiser that raises money to supply classrooms with the things they need. Won't you help students at low-income schools* get the supplies they need to get a quality science and math education?
*(Schools with a high proportion of students receiving free and reduced lunches).

There is also a Blogger Challenge to get Communities of Bloggers to raise a high amount of funds. I know Blog Communities like ScienceBlogs do it every year. I'll look into the details and see if I can get members of the AfroSphere/AfroSpear to participate.

Maybe we call all do our little part.


TJ said...

This is great informaton. I'm going to see what I can do with it.

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