FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2021
Contact: Michael K. Frisby Mike@frisbyassociates.com/202-625-4328
NEW ORLEANS, LA – On the new episode of the Let’s Talk STEM with Dr. Calvin Mackie podcast, the founder of STEM Global Action (SGA) and Dr. Joyce Baynes, a lifelong educator, discuss actionable options for helping children of color overcome barriers that impede their learning of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills and becoming STEM professionals.
In an engaging conversation, they noted that parents must be more engaged in their children’s education, teachers need improved professional development, K-12 students should have STEM activities outside the classroom and parents should be guiding their children towards summer programs that can provide additional STEM learning opportunities.
“What we’ve done is bring STEM to the community,” said Dr. Mackie, citing SGA programs in New Orleans and around the country. “We do STEM after school, we do STEM at churches, whoever wants STEM outside of schools, we make sure that we…bring STEM to them.”
Dr. Baynes added: “What you’re doing with STEM Global Action is right on point because students really do need to see how this affects their lives and how they can move along the career track and be something that they thought they could never be.” Further, Dr. Baynes called on more professional development for teachers, especially at the elementary school level. She also urged parents to learn more about STEM, such as facts like STEM jobs pay more than other fields, so they can better guide their children to successful careers.
Dr. Mackie and Dr. Baynes acknowledged these measures are necessary because of the discrimination still rampant today that stigmatizes girls and minorities. “In the 12th grade, I took calculus as well as physics. The first day I went to my physics class I looked at the teacher, he looked at me, and he said, ‘I don’t think you belong here,’” recalled Dr. Baynes. Similarly, Dr. Mackie described being confronted by a professor in a college thermodynamic class. “Are you in the right place?” the Black student was asked.
Both overcame racial and gender stereotypes. Dr. Baynes has an undergraduate mathematics degree from Swarthmore College, an M.A.T. in mathematics from Harvard University and an M.Ed. in Administration and a Doctorate in Mathematics Education from Columbia University. Dr. Mackie holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Morehouse College, as well as a Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech. Dr. Mackie is a former tenured engineering professor at Tulane University, and Dr. Baynes is a retired teacher, administrator and superintendent of schools of two school districts in New Jersey.
(For print or broadcast interviews with Dr. Calvin Mackie, please contact Michael K. Frisby, firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-625-4328.)