Exploring the STEM Enrichment Gap for Black History Month

Black History Month – observed annually in February – is a celebration of achievements by Black Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in history. The world of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is not without a Black history of its own. For instance:

  • George Washington Carver was an agricultural scientist, born into slavery, who pioneered techniques to improve soils that have been depleted by crops. He was instrumental in developing sustainable peanut and sweet potato crops.
  • Dr. Nola Hylton had a BS in chemical engineering and an Ph.D. in physics which she used to help develop magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology. This advancement has led to increased detection and diagnois of breast and other cancers.
  • Katherine Johnson was a math whiz who worked for NASA as a “human computer.” She could solve difficult math problems and helped plan the first moon landing.

These are just a few of the many contributions to STEM made by Black individuals throughout history.

Our research has shown that, despite a rich legacy of STEM achievement, Black people continue to experience STEM enrichment, education and employment gaps. This infographic demonstrates the disparity between Black people and other racial groups when it comes to STEM education and jobs.

You can download to share the infographic here:

If your company is interested in learning more about how to support the Black community through STEM enrichment in New Jersey, please consider becoming a corporate sponsor of JerseySTEM.