ARS Administrator Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young (left) stands with an elementary school student who portrayed her during an African American Living Wax Museum event held in Washington, DC.
It was my great pleasure to recently attend what proved to be a truly inspiring wrap-up of national Black History Month—namely, an African American Living Wax Museum event hosted by the 5th-grade class at Harriet Tubman Elementary School in Washington, D.C.
The school kicked off the event this year to recognize the contributions of African Americans in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, as well as to provide hands-on learning experience for the 52 participating students who had to use their research, writing, and oral-presentation skills to portray these individuals—Daniel Hale Williams, George Washington Carver, Sarah E. Goode, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Mae C. Jemison among them. Read more »
32 students toured live and preserved insect collections at the United States Vegetable Laboratory in Charleston, S.C., where they learned how scientists name newly discovered species, observed varieties of sweet potatoes grown at the facility and discussed careers in STEAM with Dr. Mark W. Farnham, an ARS plant research geneticist.
Two years ago, President Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) to address persistent disadvantages and ensure boys and young men of color have opportunities to reach their full potential. Since the initiative’s launch, the Administration has partnered with nonprofits, businesses, towns and cities to connect young people with mentors and resources, helping to build lasting bridges of opportunity for youth across the country.
Over the next five years, approximately 57,900 jobs will become available in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and the environment annually — with only 35,400 students graduating with the specialized expertise to fill them. A diverse sector is a strong sector, and that’s why we’re taking strides to ensure all Americans have access to the array of opportunities across the field. Read more »
Students enrolled in the STEP UP to USDA Career Success program take part in an intense short course in environmental soil science. (Photo courtesy of Tanner Machado)
The lack of women and minority representation in the professional agricultural workforce has become so pronounced that in STEM Stratplan 2013 President Obama called for an “all-hands-on-deck approach to science, technology, engineering, and math” (STEM) education.
According to the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, despite accounting for 16 percent of the U.S. population, Hispanics earned only 8 percent of all certificates and degrees awarded in STEM fields. Read more »
USDA scientists work 365 days to provide safe and sustainable food, water, and natural resources in the face of a changing climate and uncertain energy sources. To recognize the contribution that agricultural science and research makes in our daily lives, this week’s “Banner Year” series features stories from 2015 that show the successes that USDA science and statistical agencies made for us all.
Strengthening education is crucial to the future of agriculture. To ensure that citizens are aware of farming’s impact on the economy and society, school curricula must emphasize the interconnected role of farming, food, and fiber production with environmental quality. Funding includes programs targeting minority-serving universities, including the 1890 and 1994 land-grant institutions as well as Hispanic-serving institutions. The following blogs illustrate the portfolio of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) grants that help educational institutions address shortfalls in curricula design, material development, instruction delivery systems, student experiential learning opportunities, scientific instrumentation for teaching, and student recruitment and retention.
Here are five stories from 2015 to check out: Read more »
Texas State University’s “Boots to Roots” program guides women and Hispanic veterans towards agriculture and STEM degrees. (Image by Stephanie Engle)
A professor in the Lone Star State is counting on two underrepresented groups to play a major role in the future of agriculture.
Ken Mix, assistant professor of agriculture at Texas State University (TSU), is the project director of a new program called “Boots to Roots,” a program that helps female and Hispanic military veterans to earn bachelor’s degrees in agriculture and other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degree programs. Read more »
SEEDS scholars at Mesa College in San Diego participate in an Iron Chef-inspired team building exercise. SEEDS encourages Hispanic students to pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-related fields. (Photo courtesy of Leticia Lopez)
This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.
Educators at Mesa College, in San Diego, Calif., are developing future leaders in agricultural sciences and related fields by providing them with a solid background in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.
The STEM Engagement for the Enrichment of Diverse Students (SEEDS) program is a four-year effort to encourage underrepresented students, primarily Hispanic, to pursue graduate degrees. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture is supporting the project with a $290,000 grant. Read more »