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Science and Everyday Experiences:
Importance of Science Literacy
Dhyana Ziegler, Assistant Vice President for Instructional Technology at Florida A&M University and Delta Research and Education Foundation (DREF) board member spoke about the importance of making children more scientifically literate.
"Science is a strong foundation for the new economy. The goal is to start teaching children early to understand both the relevance and the importance of science," she said. "Another goal (of our program) is to remove the disconnect, to create a bridge between non-majority youth and the vast fields of science and technology."
With the aid of a grant from the NSF, AAAS studied this disconnect between minority students and the fields of science and technology. The resulting publication, In Pursuit of a Diverse Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Workforce, was published in December 2001.
"Traditionally, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workers have been White non-Hispanic men," according to the AAAS publication. " In 1997, the general STEM workforce was comprised of nearly 70% White men. In 1997, underrepresented minorities (URM) comprised just over 6% of the general STEM workforce. URM accounted for only 4.6% of the STEM workforce with doctoral degrees, compared to nearly 80% for White men."
Armed with these data, the members of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. said they are poised to change the way science and technology is viewed in everyday life and the way that children perceive their career options.
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