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US Commits $32M To Support STEM Educational Initiatives In Kenya

Kenya will receive significant backing to support education. According to a news release, the United States signed a Framework for Cooperation with the Kenyan government to support innovation in STEM fields in partnership with its universities and the industry. During Kenyan President William Ruto’s U.S. visit, USAID Counselor Clinton White signed the “Enhancing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education for Economic Development Framework for Cooperation” along with Kenyan Prime Cabinet Secretary Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. Enhancements to Kenya’s education infrastructure will soon be in effect, empowered by a $32 million commitment, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) also announced. This includes $850,000 earmarked for the Edtech Africa initiative — a program to promote collaboration between HBCUs, the Open University of Kenya, Mastercard, and Microsoft. The investment will also encompass a $6.5 million project to...

Samantha Dorisca

May 23, 2024

Florida A&M University To Offer Graduate Degrees In Aerospace Engineering

Florida A&M University (FAMU) will be taking more strides to diversify student education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). According to the Tallahassee Democrat, the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) will be adding new graduate degrees in aerospace engineering beginning in fall 2025 . The decision was solidified during a virtual Academic and Student Affairs Committee meeting held on May 20, 2024, with the introduction of a master’s degree and a Ph.D. program in aerospace engineering through the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. The joint engineering college with Florida State University is the only shared school of its kind. The degree offerings will also support the mission to increase education and degrees in STEM fields at FAMU in accordance with the Florida Board of Governors. The hope is that students will be qualified to pursue careers in aerospace and defense, space missions, manufacturing, spacecraft operations, and architectural...

Samantha Dorisca

May 21, 2024

Usher's Nonprofit And IBM Are Offering Underserved Youth Free Tech Training

Usher’s nonprofit organization, Usher’s New Look, is working to make tech career paths more accessible for underserved youth. Essence reports that Usher’s New Look teamed up with IBM’s SkillsBuild program to provide young people who are supported by the nonprofit with free tech training including in AI. IBM’s free global platform provides educational pathways and content, particularly focused on career prep resources. “We serve more than 1,500 youth per year, and all the students we serve will have access to SkillsBuild,” said Usher’s New Look CEO and President Careshia Moore, according to Essence. “AI is being infused into every part of our lives, particularly the workforce. We want to make sure that our young people are prepared for what’s coming.” IBM Vice President and Chief Impact Officer Justina Nixon-Saintil chimed in, “In the United States, we very much focus on partnerships like Usher’s New Look, where we can to bring the free training, the expertise from IBM, even job...

Ngozi Nwanji

May 20, 2024

15 Black Scientists That Changed Our Understanding Of The World

The work and pioneering done by Black Americans has historically gone unrecognized across many areas/fields, including science. Black Americans make up 12% of the US population and have experienced the most disadvantages and setbacks in education than any other group in the country. For this reason, it is believed that there are not many Black scientists or Black people in STEM of note; however, this is not true historically nor in the present day. The work of Black scientists has led to discoveries that have changed our understanding in areas including health, space travel, public safety and more. Many of these Black scientists faced the added challenge of navigating racism, discrimination and segregation, on top of the challenging work they accomplished . These individuals defied all doubt, prejudice and other obstacles in their way to make ground breaking discoveries that help us learn more about the world and prove how vital Black scientists’ contributions in STEM are. Here are...

Leah Jones

May 16, 2024

Morgan State University Receives $1.05M Grant To Prepare Its 'Students To Be At The Forefront Of The FinTech Revolution'

Morgan State University is receiving extended financial backing from a leading company that works to “build breakthrough crypto solutions.” On May 14, the National FinTech Center at the Baltimore, MD-based HBCU announced it had been awarded a three-year $1,050,000 grant from Ripple. The new funding will go toward advancing the center’s blockchain and fintech research, education, programming, faculty and student technical projects, ecosystem development, operational support, educational workshops, blockchain clubs, and a fintech solution incubator, per a news release. “This generous $1,050,000 grant is not just an investment; it’s a catalyst that propels our ability to innovate, collaborate, and prepare our students to be at the forefront of the FinTech revolution,” said Ali Emdad, Ph.D., f ounding director of the National Center for the Study of Blockchain and FinTech. “The ongoing partnership with Ripple stands as a beacon, illuminating the path toward a transformative educational...

Ngozi Nwanji

May 15, 2024

Charles Barkley Will Donate $1M To St. Mary's Academy Fueled By New Orleans Teens Who Discovered New Way To Prove Pythagoras’ Theorem

Charles Barkley is inspired by students Calcea Johnson and Ne’Kiya Jackson who made history with their mathematics discovery. As previously reported by AFROTECH™, Johnson and Jackson attended St. Mary’s Academy, a Catholic school located in New Orleans, LA, and are responsible for finding a new way to solve the Pythagorean Theorem using trigonometry without circular logic, which had been a mystery for many mathematicians for 2,000 years. WWL-TV 4 reporter Sam Winstrom spoke to the pair in March 2023 about their accomplishment. Per his report, “Calcea and Ne’Kiya explained it to me like this: Basically, trigonometry is based on Pythagoras’ Theorem (A^2 + B^2 = C^2, sound familiar?), so using trigonometry to prove Pythagoras’ Theorem is what’s known as circular logic.” Johnson, who is now a freshman at Louisiana State University, spoke to the university ahead of an interview she and Jackson had with “60 Minutes” on May 5, 2024. Johnson revealed to LSU that their discovery was...

Samantha Dorisca

May 15, 2024

Propel Partners With Southern Company To Launch The New HBCU Cybersecurity Consortium

Propel and Southern Company have teamed up once again for a new initiative. The two have joined forces to launch the Propel HBCU Cybersecurity Consortium (HCC), according to a news release. The inaugural consortium was created to further support HBCUs’ cybersecurity curriculums. What’s more, it aims to connect academia, industry, and government. “The dynamic and ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape has generated a myriad of leading career opportunities that have become critical across virtually every business sector – with a mere nine percent of those individuals being Black professionals,” Propel President Dr. Lisa Herring shared in a statement. “In partnership and collaboration with our co-founder, Southern Company, we’re cracking the code in a sector that is grossly underrepresented by diverse talent and an industry in need of a greatly expanded workforce.” The news release notes that the HCC is made up of a resource hub, professional development, accelerated learning, and...

Ngozi Nwanji

May 1, 2024

Over 14K Black Patients Moved Up On The Kidney Transplant Waitlist After Race Was Determined An Inaccurate Factor In Measuring Kidney Function

A long-time factor for a medical test for kidney transplant evaluations has been rectified, which has lessened a massive barrier for Black patients in need of a new kidney. Previously, the eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration rate) test that is used for kidney transplant waitlist evaluations included race and outdated studies that inaccurately showed that Black patients’ kidney function was different than other racial groups and underestimated the extent of their illness, according to ABC News. Today, race is no longer taken into consideration. This came after reassessment from the National Kidney Foundation and the American Society of Nephrology in 2020, which determined race had no connection to kidney function. As a resulted, the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network enacted the update in 2023. “That really was problematic, but it was very widely accepted,” said Martha Pavlakis, former chair of the kidney committee with the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network,...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 25, 2024

Black Girls Code Launches A Free Coding Academy For Black Girls Ages 7-10

Black Girls Code is back with another initiative to educate young Black girls about coding. According to an April 2024 press release, nonprofit Black Girls Code teamed up with GoldieBlox, a STEM-focused children’s multimedia company, for Code Along Jr. The free video-based coding academy is based on Code Along — a Black Girls Code coding program — and is for girls who are ages 7 to 10. Launched live in Los Angeles, CA , Kalani Jewel, a child actress, hosted the coding academy’s live event, the press release details. “Together, we can change the face of technology,” Black Girls Code CEO Cristina Jones shared in a statement. “Kalani, as a vibrant and energetic 12-year-old, is the perfect host for Code Along Jr. She shows girls that tech is fun, not scary. She reaches them at their level and shows them that they can do anything they want. This is so important because tech is at the center of everything we do, and Black girls absolutely have a lot to offer as entrepreneurs, executives,...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 5, 2024

Spelman College Reportedly Becomes The First HBCU To Offer Cosmetic Chemistry As A Concentration For Chemistry Majors

Spelman College in Atlanta, GA, has announced a historic expansion of its curriculum. The liberal arts college’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program will now include a concentration in cosmetic chemistry for students majoring in chemistry and offer a minor in cosmetic science for students with outside majors, according to a news release. The announcement reportedly marks Spelman College as the first-ever Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to offer such a cosmetic science program. The expansion’s purpose is to provide students with technical knowledge for working in beauty and raise awareness about career opportunities in the ever-growing industry. Moreover, the school’s mission is to “ensure a gendered and racial perspective in product formulation and development” as only 2.5% of the beauty market is occupied by Black-owned brands, the news release notes. “This expansion of our curriculum speaks to Spelman’s innovation and commitment to giving...

Ngozi Nwanji

Mar 8, 2024

NASA Has Enlisted 20 Black Astronauts Since Inception — Graduates Andre Douglas And Christopher Williams Are The Latest To Join That Group

These new astronauts are “preparing for takeoff” in NASA’s Astronaut Office. On March 5, 2024, NASA held a graduation ceremony at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX, as 10 new graduates, “The Flies,” crossed the stage after completing two years of training, per a news release. Among the graduates are Andre Douglas and Christopher Williams — representing for Black astronauts. The monumental milestone is a dream come true for both Douglas and Williams. However, the two each had to make crucial decisions along their career paths that ultimately led to turning their dreams into reality. Following NASA’s graduation ceremony, Douglas recalled in an interview with AFROTECH™ about his journey of leaving the U.S. Coast Guard to pursue becoming an astronaut. While it became a great part of the Virginia native, and his father, who was also in the service, he knew he wanted to be in aerospace. Douglas’ curiosity for the industry began at age 7 when he looked through a telescope for the...

Ngozi Nwanji

Mar 7, 2024