Our organization has developed a program that we have coined as the BRSTEM Coding Challenge. Driven by a spirit of competition which we believe helps to raise performance levels for participants, this program is also based in a core belief of Baton Rouge STEM. We believe deeply that STEM should be an integral part of every child’s educational journey. STEM learning should not be set aside for extracurricular, clubs, or electives – education in 2021 must embody STEM as part of the pedagogy process. We can’t allow STEM to be the latest fad in improving educational outcomes, rather STEM has to be accessible to all students without barriers. Two components of STEM are found in traditional education, after-all (Science and Math). Our children live in a technologically evolving world. Their education must embrace and prepare them for that evolution.
For years, we have allowed certain stereotypes to prevent us from developing the minds of young girls and children of color with respect to math and science. Those stereotypes create barriers from them participating in the economic process as developers of software, video games, smartphone apps, and many other aspects of the tech world that they themselves consume. The BRSTEM Coding Challenge has shown that STEM learning and engagement can be made accessible to students who may not necessarily see tech creators that look like them. It also shows that schools and tech professionals can work in collaboration to create opportunities for exposure for students in a way that will reshape their thinking about STEM. Thank you to the staff and leadership at Hosanna Christian Academy for seeing what is possible with our children.