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Initiative Launched to Encourage Math and Science Learning
In a room full of African American women, fellow professionals from the fields of science and technology, a researcher with a PhD in microbiology looked around and said, only half jokingly, "When I was coming up, the virologists didn't live in my neighborhood!"
Her tone may have been light, but she spoke the truth. Although African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and American Indians are 24 percent of the U. S. population they are only seven percent of the science and technology (S&T) workforce in the United States, and they comprise fewer than five percent of the S&T professionals who have doctorates. This is the reality that the women who gathered at AAAS last week have pledged to change.
Individuals from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., whose 190,000 members are college-educated African-American women, converged on Washington from 13-15 June to participate in workshops led by AAAS staff and other education professionals.
Their project, "Science and Everyday Experiences," (SEE) is a five-year initiative funded by the National Science Foundation and is designed to help the parents and caregivers of African American children encourage informal science and math learning. It is a collaboration among three partners-AAAS, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. a non-profit organization that provides services and programs to promote human welfare, and the Delta Research Educational Foundation (DREF), the foundation that supports the programs of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Louise Taylor, director of the Delta Research and Educational Foundation (DREF) said that the object of the event was to give conferees the necessary knowledge, attitude and skills to return to their communities and prepare children to "create technology," rather than merely consume it.
20 June 2002
Read more about "Science and Everyday Experiences."