New Program Launches to Help Students See Scientists In a New Way

Science fields have a diversity problem and an image problem. I AM A SCIENTIST, a brand new educational initiative, is looking to change that by changing the scientists younger students see.

The effort, announced by press release, “offers classroom toolkits (conducive to remote and onsite learning) including real-life stories of modern scientists, slide decks, posters, and curated career resources to help students engage with scientists that may look, act, or think like them,” a PR announcement said. The goal, their website says, is to ensure, “that every student has the opportunity to see themselves in science, and ultimately learns how to pursue career paths of their own.”

The visual awareness is the key to the effort.

Speaking of her co-founder in the initiative, Dr. Nabiha Saklayen, PhD said in the release, “In our own ways, neither of us had ever fit the outdated, but prevalent stereotype about how a scientist looks, acts or thinks. I am a young woman of color who loves painting, K-pop, and yoga, and I’m also a dedicated physicist and passionate inventor. I want to be all of those things because it makes me stronger as a scientist and leader.”

Similarly, the same release quotes I AM A SCIENTIST Co-Creator, Stephanie Fine Sasse, EdM as saying, “I’m a designer with a love of dance and a half sleeve of tattoos. I also spent the better part of a decade studying the human mind and brain.”

With that focus, the organization plans to link seeing new people as scientists to considering STEM fields as career options. “Relatability opens the door for younger generations to explore careers they may not have known existed, creating a window of opportunity that could change the world,” the release says.

“I Am A Scientist” is powered by The Plenary, Co., a 501(c)3 educational nonprofit committed to making important ideas more accessible through art, science, and play. To learn more about how to get involved with the I AM A SCIENTIST initiative, visit: https://www.iamascientist.info