RALEIGH, N.C. — Ketanji Brown Jackson made history when the Senate voted to confirm her to the U.S. Supreme Court. For the first time ever, Black girls and women will see someone on the court that looks just like them.
Brown Jackson’s achievements highlight the importance of representation regardless of career path.
What You Need To Know
- A biophysical chemist and N.C. A&T alumni is showing the importance of diversity in STEM careers through her book “Zakiah and Professor Jenkins, the Vitamin C project”
- Data shows that in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math careers, only 7% of graduates with STEM degrees are Black
- Dr. Jenkins says she would like to see something done on state, local and federal levels to get more kids interested in STEM
A biophysical chemist and N.C. A&T alumni is showing the importance of diversity in STEM careers. Data shows that in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math careers, only 7% of graduates with STEM degrees are Black.
Dr. Sharron Jenkins is hoping to show kids how fun science can be at a younger age through her book, “Zakiah and Professor Jenkins, the Vitamin C project.”
“This is probably one of the first where I've written a storybook that is actually a research project that Zakiah is actually doing with me, and the twist is the students can do or parents can do this experiment at home with their kids," Jenkins explained.
Jenkins hopes kids will walk away with a valuable lesson.
“I think the main thing is as I've traveled and being a judge in science fairs across the country, I see that a lot of students do not have the mentorship, you know, to even participate in these type of events across the country, and so, what I'm hoping that they get out of this and the parents get out of this that kids are getting the exposure to get them excited so that they want to be a part of a field where there's just not a lot of people that look like me, right,” Jenkins explained. “So I think that, you know, this storybook was to show kids that chemistry is not just fun, it’s not as intimidating as well."
Jenkins says it’s all about exposure, but says she would like to see something done on state, local and federal levels to get more kids, especially African Americans, interested in STEM.
“That stuff is not cheap, so I think funding towards projects like this across school systems bring it into the school system. Let professors go into the schools that build and do these type of activities with kids expose them to an early age,” Jenkins explained.
Jenkins is launching a live Zoom at a center in Garner, North Carolina. She’s also hosting science experiments at Juniper Missionary Baptist Church in June. For registration information, click here.
For more details about her book, click here.