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Telling the Untold Stories of African Americans in STEM

Read previously unrecognized stories about African-Americans in STEM fields - science, technology, engineering, and math.

We the Geeks logo

February is Black History Month – and there’s no better time to celebrate and share the stories of all-star African Americans in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Today, minorities remain considerably underrepresented in many areas of the Nation’s STEM student-pool and workforce. This is a squandered opportunity for our country and for those bright, creative individuals who might otherwise help solve the problems we face as a country and enjoy STEM careers— the kind of careers that can not only make a positive difference in the world, but also pay more than non-STEM jobs. 

This Wednesday at 2:00pm ET, the White House is bringing back “We the Geeks” with a new episode on the Stories of African Americans in STEM. Tune in to this Google+ Hangout to hear from extraordinary (and extraordinarily geeky) students, scientists, engineers, and inventors, about how they got inspired to pursue STEM and how they are paying it forward to help engage America’s full and diverse STEM talent pool.

Participants include:

  • Rachel Harrison Gordon, Presidential Innovation Fellow
  • Marvin Carr, Student Volunteer at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Nicolas Badila, Winner of the National STEM Video Game Challenge
  • Matthew Burnett, CEO and Co-Founder of Maker’s Row
  • Amrita Balachandran, The History Makers, a website dedicated to sharing the stories of African Americans, including those in STEM.
  • Lonnie Johnson, Engineer and Inventor
  • SpelBots Robotics Team (Jazette Johnson, Simone Smarr, Aisha Jackson, and Kendra Goodson), Spelman College

This Hangout is part of an exciting set of Black History Month events that will also include an “Edit-a-Thon” at the White House  on February 24th. Researchers, students, and expert Wikipedia -editors will convene in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building for a two-hour editing sprint to research and crowd-source the stories of African American STEM all-stars – past and present – and share those stories online through social media.

YOU can participate in both of these exciting events:

  • Join the virtual Edit-a-Thon on Tuesday at 5:00 pm ET by logging online and helping to research and share stories about African American STEM leaders on the web using the hashtag #BHMEditathon.
  • Tune in on Wednesday Feb. 25th at 2:00pm ET at for We the Geeks: The Stories of African Americans in STEM. You’ll hear directly from some amazing STEM all-stars and have an opportunity to ask the panelists questions and share your own personal stories on Twitter using #WeTheGeeks.   

Meredith Drosback is an Assistant Director for Education and Physical Sciences in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.