HARPER WOODS, Mich. – George Washington Carver was born a slave and went on to be a scientist and inventor, teaching at the Tuskegee Institute. He with 100 products with peanuts including dyes, plastics and gas.
Katherine Johnson worked in aeronautics and calculated complex equations that helped NASA put people in Space.
Mae Jemison was a doctor, engineer and astronaut, who is the first African American woman in Space.
They are all well known African Americans that pursued a career in STEM -- science, technology, engineering and math -- and there’s a push to get more Black Americans to choose those careers.
“We are really providing hands on experience in our curriculum and we want to extrapolate that into various programs,” said Audrey Richardson, district science coordinator at Chandler Park Academy.
Chandler Park Academy in Harper Woods is getting national recognition for their part in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program.
“They had to compare, analyze the ground experiment with the space experiment, and they had to complete a two-page report and send it back to the National Center of Earth and Space Science Education program,” Richardson said.
The science experiment is tomato seed germination.
“Tomato seed germination is basically an experiment that can see if tomatoes can germinate or even begin to grow to be able to use in space. This experiment is to see if it’s possible so then astronauts and future people who want to go to space can actually grow their own vegetables,” said student Katyra Waller, one of the students who participated.
Richardson said they worked with their teachers and even contacted Google Scholars who are experts in the field.
Student Aaron Jackson said he kind of fell into STEM, on accident.
“It’s not like we decided to. We were just doing it for the grade in the class. Then as we went on, we won so we were like we might as well go all the way with it,” he said.
Richardson said she’s hoping more Black students will become involved in STEM.
“For Chandler Park Academy, we are really immersing our kids into various STEM programs because often times, there are a science divide,” she said.