I have long listened to the disparaging of the academic capacity of a certain group of American children and even learned how at one time the pervasive racism led to the death, for want of a transfusion, of the Black scientist responsible for the invention behind of the life-saving blood transfusion. I have seen the paradox where this nation, once considered a bastion of racism, elected a Black president. Perhaps it is not a paradox in that in time views change, as it changed from considering Blacks as subhumans--lesser than animals and incapable of learning. Times are a changing again to one where the once despised groups, as well as the contemporary highly despised one, will merge to assume majority status in around 27 years. Yes, America will not be a majority White nation them. But unlike the Y2K scare, it does not have to harbinger end of the world fear.
Indeed, there are concerns regarding national security and the advancement of our Democratic Ideals when the aforestated groups have long been at the rear end of the achievement gap and the recipient of the fewest STEM degrees. STEM dunce cannot lead America in the future. How should concern WBers respond? Continue to embrace or defend against those with the litany of the eugenics determinist blather? My respond below is part of my desire to make America strong and the world safer. It can also be a framework for gaining funding to strengthen WB. Your comment can accord me further guidance.
This Promoting Innovation Proposal seeking $2,000 000 in funding constitutes the Institute for Hands-on Science Engineering & Technology (IFHOSET) and its partners’ response to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Request for Proposal NSF 17-573. It describes the prototype of a new informal STEM teaching tool that integrates academics, 21st-century vocational education, project-based pedagogical practices, prenatal education, and a culturally responsive pedagogy. Hence, the STEAM-Mobile (SM)—a vehicle primarily designed to deliver hands-on and virtual STEM activities to majority disadvantaged Black and Latino students at disparate informal settings (e.g., prenatal centers, parks, housing complex, libraries, etc.) in School District 29 in South East Queens, NY.
The overall goal of the project is to contract with a participating STEM bus outfitter to collaboratively develop the prototype of the SM based on Green (2012/2018). Green (2012) advanced the merger of virtual technology with hands-on training and project-based learning for the delivery of culturally relevant education. This approach found success in teaching the calisthenic learners, as well as educationally disconnected Black and Latino youth, through its use of activities that respected and reflected their cultures and had relevance (“were real”) to their lived experience. Hence,” position[ing] STEM within meaningful personal [and] cultural … frameworks” (NSF, 2017). Green (2018) outlined the importance of early education and the meaningful inclusion of low socioeconomic status parents in in-school activities.
The project has the capacity to advance new knowledge based on its capability to physically meet students where they are (e.g., in the “‘hood”) to research and identify what skills and tools are best able to reach and engage them and other children of the targeted ages and groups, and for its integration of culturally relevant pedagogy—using identifiable STEM role models and age-peer tutors. Significantly, in refutation of the nation’s “college for all” mantra, the project will teach that STEM is not solely for the college-bound, but that it is a viable option for those with the college potential but lacking the financial capability, accessibility, or the desire to attend.
The STEAM-Mobile, enabled by school, community, and business partnership, will increase local disadvantaged youth’s exposure to STEM activities and skills through an approach which includes prenatal through 8th-grade teaching and learning in informal STEM settings. When operational, the project will act as a mobile teaching lab, reaching as many as 40,000 students per year, a statistically significant number that will further provide the opportunity for researchers to determine its impact on math and science test scores in SEQ schools.