They're creating more STEMM opportunities for HBCU students!
According to The Plug, the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) launched a new initiative to level the playing field in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) fields called the STEMM Opportunity Alliance (SOA). It's a coordinated national effort to achieve equity in institutions and organizations across America’s science and technology fields. Over the past year, OSTP has been working closely with students, teachers, and workers in science and technology sectors to understand the depth of these educational disparities.
There are five action areas the initiative plans to target that contributes to why STEMM education has been so disproportionate. First, providing educators with the necessary support and resources. Second, addressing the current teacher shortage. Third, closing the funding gap. Fourth, scaling solutions that weed out bias and discrimination and, lastly, promoting accountability across the STEMM ecosystem. By tackling these five issues, “the nation will cultivate a STEMM ecosystem that is both more equitable and more excellent for everyone.”
Deputy Director for Science and Society at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Alondra Nelson said in an interview, “Believe it or not, there’s never been a coordinated national effort toward achieving equity and excellence in the U.S. science and technology ecosystem. Often, our approaches to STEM and STEM equity have been sector or silo-specific. What we’re attempting to do here is to really coordinate across sectors and across the silos in a way that we hope will have exponential impact and transformative change.”
The SOA is a 1.2 billion-dollar initiative made up of over 90 partners, including national associations, community organizations, corporations, and schools like Morgan State University and Spelman College. With the help of the SOA, they’re projecting equity in science and technology by 2050.
“HBCUs have to be one of the all-stars in this effort," CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Sudip Parikh told The Plug. Spelman has already gathered insights for Black women in science and curated a publicly accessible data dashboard that tells the untold stories of Black women in science.
Morgan State University, on the other hand, launched three new facilities this year alone: the Center for Data Analytics and Sports Gaming Research, the Center for Equitable Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Systems, and the Center for Urban Violence and Crime Reduction. The school is well on its way to reaching R1 status, or a top-level research school.
Nonprofits and external organizations like The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and Johns Hopkins University are working alongside HBCUs to provide financial and post-academic opportunities for the underrepresented students in STEMM.
This news is huge, and the impact will be everlasting!
Photo: SOA/ Getty Images