We’ve known for decades now about the “leaky” STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) pipeline. Too few blacks and Hispanics, and too few women of all colors, stick with STEM courses as they progress through school and too few end up pursuing careers in the sciences. While a considerable body of research suggests that the STEM pipeline develops major holes by high school, a recent study indicates that disparities in STEM education may actually be traced back to before kindergarten.
In an effort to reverse these worrying trends, the White House recently launched the inaugural National Week at the Labs (February 29 to March 4) in coordination with the White House Council on Women and Girls (CWG) and the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Task Force. Kicking off the week was an event at the White House meant to bring together scientists, engineers, and lab workers to inspire students with engaging experiments and STEM mentoring sessions.
Representatives from NINDS, including Dr. Edjah Nduom, Neurosurgery Branch Staff Clinician, and Dr. Michelle Jones-London, Director of Diversity Training and Workforce Development, attended the event and had the pleasure of guiding eager kids through hands on demonstrations about how the brain works.
In addition to the event at the White House, throughout the week more than 50 federally funded labs and research institutes in more than 20 states opened their facilities to thousands of local students. Seeing this as a perfect opportunity to introduce NINDS’s research to a diverse set of students, we invited members of Girl Scout Troops from the DC and Maryland area to visit the John Edward Porter Neuroscience Research Center.