An example of such innovator, is George Washington Carver. George Washington Carver was an African American, prolific inventor, scientific thinker, and seeker of solutions. His prolific contributions to our American way of life are beyond comprehension. Or Percy Julian, Percy Lavon Julian (April 11, 1899, Montgomery, Al. – April 19, 1975,) was a U.S. research chemist and a pioneer in the chemical synthesis of medical drugs from plants, and the first African-American chemist inducted in the National Academy of Sciences and the second African-American scientist inducted from any field. However, if we had kept our narrow view of talent and expectations of the underrepresented and minority gifts we would never have benefitted from these two scientist’s exceptional talent. These are just two examples of success, and there are many more we could cite. This new online news platform will contribute to our readers knowledge of talented individuals to uncover in our diverse and talented population.
You may ask why is this important? Well as the newest member of the KDM-OGTV team and Director of Education, I have spent a lifetime as a teacher, trainer, university faculty , and school administrator. After ten years teaching gifted and talented children and staff in the public, charter, and private education system I am not surprised at the following statistics:
In the middle and high school years, proficiency rates decline and African-American and Latino students are less likely to access and achieve success in rigorous college-preparatory coursework than their White and Asian peers. Further, Eighth grade Algebra I is viewed as a critical gatekeeper course, yet the majority of African-American and Latino students don’t enroll until 9th grade. Of those who did enroll in 8th grade Algebra I, just 29% of African-American and 37% of Latino students reached proficiency.
The most effective foundation of instruction for all students and staff is to believe in their giftedness and seek to provide support for individual gifts. We cannot afford as a nation of capable and talented individuals, to not develop every gift and talent in this great nation. More importantly, we do not know who will be the next Einstein, Edison, or Carver. We must reach all learners to find the talent and solutions to climate change, cancer research and alternative solutions, alternative energy sources, and global pollution of air and water sources.
As a result of this experience, I believe we must meet the pressing urgency for talent in STEM careers through the approach known to many as the Parable of the Talents. Yes, the idea that everyone has gifts to be developed and to benefit the global community. This is the basis for why we need to reach far and wide to unlock and develop the talent in this country. From the philosophy of gifted education for all, we can design options to bring out the best in all our students.
Our KDM-OGTV team is proposing Media STEM Institutes to reach all corners of this country and all children in every minority and underrepresented group through a two layered model. The initial layer would be through rigorous, critical thinking curriculum, and problem based assessment in STEM delivered in a hybrid model. The first step being web based, distance learning, and the second step would be effective teacher support and instruction in Media STEM.
The second layer to follow would be providing mentorships for students and teachers by providing trainers and apprenticeships with STEM professionals in the classroom. This would be offset with a trainers’ of trainer approach, whereby educators mentor each other in the development of effective instructional design and assessment to meet the diverse populace in a two step, hybrid method.
So what are the 5 top STEM careers and why the urgency to fill these?
According to the US Department of Commerce recent forecast of the 25 fastest-growing professional occupations between 2008 and 2018 at http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_103.htm. The second-fastest growing jobs are Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts, projected to grow 53.4%. Also included in the top 25 fastest-growing jobs are Computer Software Engineers for Applications (34%) and Systems Software (30.4%). Thus, career readiness for all Americans is necessary in our top 5 STEM fields for our national well being and security. A major area of identified need in the corporate sector is the development of a diverse, skilled workforce in Cybersecurity, Computer Science and Engineering.
The question from this data is, "How might we address an equitable preparation to access these careers and contribute talents, and whereby provide a diverse and skilled workforce to the corporate and government sector?"
Together, we recommend equitable access be provided through a variety of distance learning and instructional tools coupled with mentors in the STEM fields. We invite corporate partners to provide a greater opportunity for an equal playing field. Together, we will provide educational services, whereby creating equitable access to minority and underrepresented students. We will supply a diverse and skilled workforce.
Together, we will seek to deliver local, regional, and national solutions to climate change, security, cancer research and alternative solutions, alternative energy sources, and global pollution of air and water.
Dr. Cynthia Clauson
Director of Education and
Founder of Education Innovations Inc.