theSync: #STEM nation at AfrAm Festival Recap

Regular sync-ers will know that for the last two days, I’ve been burning up in the Baltimore sun and spreading the tech gospel at Baltimore’s Annual African American Heritage Festival. It was my first time at AfrAm; and, I’m worn out. When I wasn’t melting and staving off combustion with an ice cream cone, I was hanging out in the STEMnation tent with the Community Tech Organization. CTO, is a great group of techpreneurs encouraging more kids to pursue technology entrepreneurship.

This week on theSync, the Cool, the Interesting, and the Fab at STEMnation.

NSBE is Looking for a Few Good Engineers

NSBE was out in full force with not one, but two booths at Afram. NSBE honcho, Jackie Finger, says that now is the time for young black kids to pursue engineering. There are great programs out there and plenty of mentors to be found at NSBE-BMAC.org. I was a member of NSBE in undergrad and it’s a great organization. Many NSBE alums go on serving in high ranking positions in private industry and public policy.

JHU Can’t Be Stopped

You can’t host a Baltimore-Boffin Bash without running into a Johns Hopkins tech-head. JHU brought in a contingent of engineers with onsite projects like wind powered cars. JHU Engineering School liaison, Enya Ferreras is looking for local, Baltimore entrepreneurs to come speak and volunteer on projects aimed at elementary and middle school kids.

MSU Won’t Be Denied

Morgan State can’t (won’t) be shown out by JHU. Morgan’s Double-E department arrived on the scene with voice activated robots. These little guys danced, lit up, and shook my hand. Morgan needs to watch out, they may have inadvertently triggered the Singularity.

The Shark Lady Wants More Conservation

bannerBeing so close to the Chesapeake brings out our inner Aquaman. #STEMnation was graced with an appearance by the energetic, bubbly, and lucky Shark Lady, Chandra Harvey. Chandra represented for the inter-collegiate BioEYES project. BioEYES brought a bunch of Zebrafish at various stages of development and informed us why we need to care about Bay conservation and how the health of the Bay affects our lives.

A Cache of Couture

Technology and sciences ain’t the sexy subjects. Baltimore style guru, Miss Maryland winner and glamourous divaneer, Shawna Jones, brought sexy back with shanonce-largeearrings made with PCBs and techno-stylish beauty products. The Divaneer wants more black girls to take interest in, and ultimately charge of, high-tech. She passionately showed us how girls can be smart and technochic.

Times are getting better and more kids are getting involved, but we need more young minorities and women taking interest in the sciences. In most metropolitan areas you will find plenty of minority techpreneurs and leaders, but realize that cities aren’t a microcosm of America.

Kids, all of them, are our future and their minds will be creating the next industries. Let’s encourage them to create them here.

Let me know what you think about STEM education and motivating young kids to pursue the sciences in the comments.

Thanks for reading and listening. You’ve been synced.