The Pyramid STEM Challenge is our community based initiative to increase awareness and build an interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to lead to college education and career paths in those interrelated fields. We will partner with some of the major technology, government and foundations to support our mission.
Our Challenge consists of several components:
February – A Cyber Play Day event will occur during Black Family Technology Awareness Week. Sites across the City will be asked to host a Cyber Play Day
Spring- The Pyramid STEM Showcase will occur during Philly Tech Week
Spring – Lady Techie Awards – Previously given during George Washington Carver Science Fair at Elementary & Secondary Level. Plans for 2015 and beyond are being worked.
Summer – A Pyramid STEM Challenge Competition
Anytime – We can bring our African American Inventors or African Americans in STEM exhibits to your event
In the meantime, continue to train the brain:
- Stop by our store: Color Book Gallery and try the Brainteasers and Puzzles
- Test you or your child’s skills against the Pyramid STEM Challenge
Why the Challenge:
Data continues to confirm that African Americans are lagging academically in sciences and math. Although there are many potential reasons for this disparity, there are several ways to address this. My life experiences and careers have centered on both youth and technology. As such, this topic is of deep interest to me. I am not a formal educator, but consider myself an advocate and life teacher of our youth. As such, my ideas require a hands-on approach.
I believe the skills required to be good in science and math must be developed as early as possible in a child’s life. I am certain that the small things that my parents exposed me to were directly related to my outcome. In my early and elementary years, I had numerous books (many discarded by others), put together models of the brain, human body and a space ship ride, and worked on puzzles and legos. And, since we had to fix things ourselves, I also watched or helped with handy repair projects around the house. With that as my foundation, math, biology and science were my favorite subjects. Working with children was another interest of mind, which I pursued in many activities on the block and summer jobs. Although I enrolled in Early Childhood Education in college, I completed my degree in Mathematics, an easy switch for me since I had already developed the foundation.
I challenge our parents and the community to spur the development of logic and cognitive skills. These are the critical skills needed in science and math. To do this, we must be proactive early on. In addition to having your child reading as early as possible, we must also expose them to things that challenge their mind.
Our challenge is to increase use and understanding of information technology, however, even in this cyber-centric world, instead of allowing the computer or calculator to think for your child, visit your local store and purchase a brainteaser product. Some classic examples of brainteasers and manipulators are legos, chess, puzzles, rubix cube, and mazes. Not only are these less costly than a computer, they are also challenging and fun. The benefits of these types of “toys” for your child will last a lifetime. Who know, puzzles could translate to computer design, could translate to building design, could translate to medical discoveries – by your child, no less!!