Name me a scientist. Now name me five more. Now, what do they all have in common? If I was a betting man, I’d bet that you just named me six white male scientists. Am I right? Yeah? That’s unfortunate, isn’t it?
Now, try to name me a scientist that isn’t an old white man. How many can you name? If you can name me more than three, I’d be tickled pink. If you can’t name more than three, then that’s alright, but it has to change. There needs to be a bigger push for minorities in the STEM fields.
Let’s Get Some Stats Up In Here
Nothing says convincing like some delicious statistics, fresh off the press. Here are some of my favorite:
- According to OnlineColleges.net:
- Less than 20% of the people who study STEM fields at the collegiate level are women
- Less than 7% of people who study physical sciences are minorities
- According to nsf.gov:
- Less than 10% of STEM degrees handed out between 1995-2014 were to African Americans
- Less than 2% of engineering degrees between 1995-2014 were to African American females
Now, these are not pretty numbers. In fact, these are some of the ugliest numbers I have ever seen. But how do we fix them? BY GETTING MINORITIES INTO STEM!
How to get Minorities into STEM
In order to get more non-white, cis-gendered men into this fantastic field of wonder and creativity, there has to be a push from the privileged. There needs to be more people on the top vying for those less fortunate. I’m not talking charity work here, I’m talking about people who can use their places of influence to do just that: influence.
- People with privilege need to advocate for a minority push
- Minorities need to be encouraged at a young age
- Minorities (especially women) need to be shown that the sciences are just as important as their other subjects
- Things like after-school clubs, mentorships, and summer camps are fun ways to get kids involved in STEM
Here is a video about an app called Gidget that is helping get women and minorities into STEM
What Will I Do?
If you couldn’t already tell, I am extremely passionate about getting more minorities into STEM fields. You know what they say, “be the change you want to see,” so here are some ways that I plan on helping get the diversity gap to completely close
- Host clubs focused on minorities in STEM
- Teach my students about different minorities, attempting to have at least one scientist for every demographic in my class
- Provide interactive and fun examples of STEM in my classroom so that everyone can be excited and interested in STEM
- Advocate for the minorities that I will have, and give them as many resources as possible so that they can succeed
Diversity strengthens not only us as scientists, but also as people. Having more diversity in the STEM fields will do nothing but improve on what we already have. As educators, it is our JOB to give every student a fighting chance! @AnnMacKenzie #EDT431 #NSTA
— Mr. Thomas (@BryceSBThomas) November 15, 2018