blacks in STEM field

Black History Month – Do Your Kids Know About Black Scientists?

Posted on Posted in Blog, Learn & Play Kids, Tweens & Teens

Black History Month – Do Your Kids Know About Black Scientists?

Do you sometimes sit back and think about what your little one will become when they grow up? Maybe the person who finds the cure for cancer? Or perhaps for AIDS? Or maybe the person who cures diabetes or perhaps invents indestructible cars?  You never know.  Not only can a career in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) be helpful, but it can also be lucrative.  For instance….the

Median weekly earnings for:

  • Engineers ranged from a high of $1,757 for chemical engineers to a low of $1,336 for industrial engineers  
  • Computer-related fields ranged from a high of $1,558 for computer software developers to a low of $915 for computer support specialists
  • Environmental scientists earned a high of $1,388
  • Biological scientists earned the lowest, $1,031
I have dreams of my little ones creating software or heading up a children’s cancer ward.  Why not dream big right? There’s no reason why our children can’t be the first ________ (fill in the blank).  Unfortunately, my hope has to contend with the dismal stats of African Americans in the STEM field. 

Science and Engineering:


Technology (Computer Science) and Math:

Dismal stats doesn't necessarily mean that all is lost.  Children of color have plenty of intelligence and grit needed to make it through a STEM program. I want my children to be able to pursue whatever career their hearts desire.  I also want them to have exposure to careers that have not yet been taken up in our family. We've been blessed to see family members go on to college and become a teacher, banker, principal and school superintendent.  But careers like physician or scientist have yet to be explored.  I also believe that seeing is believing.  If my kids know, see, touch and interact with folks from various professions then they can hopefully know that achieving such a career is possible.  To do this we will help our children find inspiration in other African Americans who have made progress in the STEM field – as much as humanly possible. 


Check out list below of African American STEM scholars and share with the kiddos (big and small!):


Notable African Americans in Science and Engineering:


blacks in stem field parenting

Guion Bluford Jr. was the first black man and Mae Jemison the first black woman to travel in space (in 1983 and 1992, respectively). Bluford is an engineer and was a colonel in the United States Air Force before participating in four space shuttle flights. Jemison, a physician by trade, has received numerous awards and honorary doctorates.

blacks in stem field parenting

Gloria Hixon conducting Zoology Class at Howard University
blacks in stem field parenting

Ernest Everett Just was a pioneering African-American biologist, academic and science writer. Just's primary legacy is his recognition of the fundamental role of the cell surface in the development of organisms.
 blacks in stem field parenting
Lonnie George Johnson is an American engineer. Johnson invented the Soaker water gun. Johnson holds a B.S in Mechanical Engineering and a M.S. in Nuclear from Tuskegee.
Also of interest:
African Americans in the Sciences

Notable African Americans in Technology and Math:

blacks in stem field parenting

Kimberly Bryant – Black Girls Code

 blacks in stem field parenting

7-Year-Old Zora Ball Is the World's Youngest Game Programmer
 blacks in stem field parenting
Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes (1890-1980) was the first African-American woman to gain a Ph.D in mathematics.

blacks in stem field parenting black history

Ronald Elbert Mickens graduated with a B.S. in mathematics and physics from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. Mickens earned a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Vanderbilt in 1968.
Also of interest:
The 25 Most Influential African-Americans In Technology
How diverse is Silicon Valley?


Check out more notable people of color on my I See My Positively Pinterest board.



What notable African American in the STEM do you talk about with your children?

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