Central State University, the historically Black educational institution in Wilberforce, Ohio, has entered into an agreement with the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology of the nation of The Bahamas. Under the agreement, 10 students from the Bahamas will receive four-year scholarships to attend Central State University each year for the next four years.
The scholarships, for students from public schools in the Bahamas, will be financed primarily through the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology. The first students in the program are expected to enroll in the fall of 2016.
The scholarship program is designed to provide opportunities for students from The Bahamas to study in academic disciplines that are not readily available at local educational institutions. These include fine and performing arts, water resource management, accounting, entrepreneurship, and engineering.
John A. Johnson, an assistant professor of planetary astronomy at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, received the Richard P. Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching from the university. The prize was established by the university “to honor annually a professor who demonstrates, in the broadest sense, unusual ability, creativity, and innovation in undergraduate and graduate classroom or laboratory teaching.” Dr. Johnson’s research focuses on searching for plants outside our solar system.
Dr. Johnson is a graduate of the Missouri University of Science and Technology. He holds a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of California at Berkeley.
Western lowland gorilla. Credit: Thomas Breuer/Wildlife Conservation Society/Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
(UPI) — The Republic of Congo has declared a new national park to protect a population of 125,000 western lowland gorillas, a U.S. conservation group says. The Wildlife Conservation Society, based in New York, reported the 1,765-square-mile Ntokou-Pikounda National Park will safeguard the western lowland gorillas as well as around 850 elephants and 950 chimpanzees.
“The Republic of Congo has shown the world its commitment to protect the largest population of gorillas on the planet,” WCS President Cristian Samper said. “We commend the Congolese government for its leadership and foresight to set aside lands so that wildlife can flourish.”
When Jackie Lomax learned that her daughter wanted to be a dentist, she was thrilled. But soon she found the resources weren’t available to help her daughter achieve her dreams. That’s why Lomax started Girls 4 Science in 2009. The non-profit organization helps minority girls from the ages of 10 to 18 develop an interest in science, math, and education. It is the only all-girls science program in Chicago.
“There is a big gap in underserved communities,” Lomax told ABC. “When we talk about resources, we talk about opportunity as well as the potential to see future role models.” There is a persistent gender gap when it comes to careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Women hold only 24 percent of the jobs in those fields even though they hold 50 percent of the jobs in the country, according to the Commerce Department. Women also hold a disproportionately low amount of degrees in science, technology, engineering and math, especially engineering.
Every year, The Root embarks on a nationwide search for 25 of the brightest African-American innovators between the ages of 16 and 22 for its annual Young Futurists list. The Root looks for students and recent graduates who are making waves in the fields of business, green innovation, social activism, science and the arts and who use their talents to make the world a better place.
“We’re helping to shape a change in culture about what young people can and cannot do,” explains Charles Orgbon, a 16-year-old futurist from Dacula, Ga., who founded the environmental organization Greening Forward. “With the right support, young people can do anything.”
The young men and women who make up the 2013 class represent the true promise of our country’s future. There’s Michael Tubbs, a 22-year-old Stanford University graduate who ran for his hometown of Stockton, Calif.’s City Council — and won — after seeing his cousin fall victim to youth violence. And Trinity Russell, a high schooler from Long Island, N.Y., who discovered key behavioral differences between laboratory-raised and wild fruit flies; her findings have major implications for researchers who use the insects in their experiments. Or Thekia Cheeseborough, a Spelman College student from Jacksonville, Fla., who, inspired by the struggles of her own young parents, created a program that connects teen moms to academic and career resources.
Every day in February, we will highlight a different futurist. Check The Root’s home page daily to learn more, and click here to see the full list of 2013 Young Futurists.
Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has joined forces with Sigma Gamma Rho, one of the nation’s largest African American sororities, to help build awareness of career possibilities in science, technology, and engineering among girls and parents in the African American community.
In December 2012, Polite Stewart Jr. earned a bachelor’s degree in physics at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. While a very small percentage of bachelor’s degree awards in physics go to African Americans, Stewart’s achievement is all the more remarkable given that he is only 18 years old.
Stewart got offers from colleges and universities across the country but decided to attend college near his home, about 10 miles from the Southern University campus. When he was high school age, Stewart took college-level classes at Southern University’s Timbuktu Academy. He had been home schooled.
During college he conducted summer research at North Carolina State University. He plans to start graduate school in the fall and pursue a career in biological and physics engineering.
Professor Andrea Taylor with members of the robotics group.
According to the National Center for Women & Information Technology, only 25 percent of professional computing occupations in the US were held by women in 2011. Additionally, only three percent were African-American women, four percent were Asian women, and one percent were Hispanic women.
A Brooklyn-based nonprofit organization, DIVAS for Social Justice, is hoping to change those numbers with its programming, which encourages students to use multimedia projects to discuss social justice and other issues facing their communities. DIVAS, which stands for Digital, Interactive, Visual Arts, and Sciences, launched five years ago as a way to get students in underserved neighborhoods more interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
The Bank of the West awarded $210,000 in cash grants during its third annual philanthropy award program that took place in San Francisco on November 13.
BlackGirlsCode, a nonprofit devoted to promoting young women of color in the technology industry was recognized as one of three winning laureates and received a $50,000 grant.
BlackGirlsCode reaches out to the community and introduces young black females to the world of computer programming via languages such as Scratch or Ruby on Rails. By introducing computer coding lessons to young girls from underrepresented communities, BlackGirlCode is attempting to show that girls of every color can become the programmers of tomorrow. Following their motto of “Imagine. Build. Create,” the non-profit attempts to bridge the digital divide where young black women grow up in homes where their White counterparts are twice as likely to have home internet access then they are.