Welcome to Hands-On STEM!

STEM. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Something that is absolutely a vital part of the world we live in today, and the field that keeps us making progress on informational fronts. From acne medication and blenders to COVID-19 vaccines and phones, STEM has affected every part of our lives. There’s no wonder that many children are fascinated by how these gadgets work, and no wonder that 74% of middle school girls are interested in pursuing a career path in STEM.

However, it is the sad truth that not every child will get to pursue their dreams of being the next Rosalind Franklin or Steve Jobs. Due to socioeconomic circumstances, many children do not have the resources and time to gain access and an insight to the STEM field. Unlike the middle and upper class, those whose parents work to make ends meet cannot attend extra classes or compete in Science Olympiads or robotics tournaments.

Similarly, discrimination has wormed its way into STEM through implicit bias — whether people are aware of it or not. Sexism, racism, transphobia, xenophobia, and far more are all major issues that prevent certain demographics from rising in STEM, even at a young age. For example, NAEP figures show that people of color tend to score far below those of less marginalized communities.

Hands On STEM, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, aims to help bridge this knowledge gap through workshops held for students in grades 4–7 of low socioeconomic standing. We currently partner with Peninsula Bridge in the San Francisco Bay Area, and tutor 100+ students through the association. We strive to make STEM accessible and engaging for students though experiments that exemplify different concepts, and to spread awareness about the different types of inequality in the STEM field. This is a major issue that needs to be addressed, or at the very least, seen by the world, and we are dedicated to doing so.

Bibliography

“STEM Education Statistics You Need to Know Today.” AstroReality, 29 Oct. 2019, www.astroreality.com/story/newsroom/2019/08/16/stem-education-statistics-you-need-to-know-today/.

Article by Oviya Seeniraj.

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