Museum Hosts STEM-Focused Minority Youth Opportunity Fair

When we are young, our minds are at their spongiest. We absorb things, random facts, behavioral rights and wrongs, an image of how we see ourselves. It is important, when we are young, to absorb the right things, positive things, things that encourage dreaming big and working towards greater things. It can start with a toy, learning how to properly play with it, how to share it, even how the object came to be. Imagine if you sparked the interest of a child by telling him/her how a Lego or a video game or a robot they interact with everyday came to be. You may have just influenced a future astronaut, a future scientist, a future computer specialist to pursue a dream not visible to them before.

Everyday that the Museum of Natural Sciences welcomes a child or young adult through their doors, they are encouraging this spark. They are clashing stick against stick in someone’s mind; gathering tinder in a child’s heart; and gently blowing those embers in hopes of a blazing warmth. Lately, the museum has prided itself on its newest exhibit, “RACE: Are We So Different?” which ends October 22nd. (Definitely take a moment to go see this meaningful exhibit.) This exhibit has included a series of speakers as well as a poetry slam and other activities directed at opening up a conversation about race in a safe environment with the intention of fostering deeper understanding of people and how race ties into our lives. The event I would like to bring to your attention now, is the minority opportunity fair.

The Future of STEM: Back-to-School Minority Opportunity Fair is taking place on Saturday, August 12th, between 10am and 2pm. This event provides the rare opportunity for youth of color to meet STEM professionals who reflect their diverse background. Nearly 20 organizations, private and nonprofit, will be present and willing to educate students from grades 5 to 12 on the part they have in the STEM industry.

The event will feature filmmaker André Robert Lee. Once a teacher, Lee will share details of how he discovered his identity and purpose in his talk entitled “Finding Your Place When You Feel You Don’t Fit”. Following this will be a panel of STEM professionals in the Triangle speaking on their journeys to their STEM careers. This event is free thanks to the support of Burroughs Wellcome Fund, dedicated to supporting research, scientific and educational activities in an effort to advance biomedical science.

So if you have a little one, and you'd like to expose them to greatness, head to The Future of STEM: Back-to-School Minority Opportunity Fair. Who knows, maybe you'll discover something about yourself there too. Remember, it's FREE and open to students grades 5 to 12. Did I forget to mention it's FREE?! That means it will barely cost you anything more than a bit of your time. Just make the decision to go! DO IT FOR THE SPONGY MINDS


This piece comes to us from one of our talented content contributors, Cynthia Sharpe. Her bio is below and if you would like to work with us you can email us here!

Cynthia M. Sharpe, is a May 2015 graduate of NC State University. Cynthia graduated with a B.A. in English with a concentration in creative writing and currently aspires to pursue an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. "As I let my own light shine, I unconsciously give other people permission to do the same." -Cynthia M. Sharpe, inspired by Marianne Williamson

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