Breaking News
More () »

Bringing diversity to STEM through early education in Connecticut

67% of the STEM workforce is White, while 9% are Black and 8% are Hispanic, according to Pew Research Center.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Monday, November 8, is National "STEM" Day. It's designed to spark children and teens' interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

Schools and learning centers across Connecticut are hoping to spike interest beyond one day out of the year. 

RELATED: The Hartford Foundation creating opportunities through series of grants awarded to organizations across greater Hartford

"STEM is important for everyone, and we need to use that as a way to connect our communities," Julie Christianson, Supervisor of Science with CREC Magnet Schools explained. "STEM has always been a very diverse field, but the people who have gotten credit for it have not always been diverse."

67% of the STEM workforce is White, while 9% are Black and 8% are Hispanic, according to Pew Research Center. Despite race, women only make up a quarter of the STEM industry.

Both Christianson and Kendra Pulaski, Assistant Director and Curriculum Specialist at the Learning Experience for Early Education, agreed it's vital for schools to make STEM inclusive and accessible. 

Sign up for the FOX61 newsletters: Morning Forecast, Morning Headlines, Evening Headlines

Pulaski said it's all about starting early, which is why The Learning Experience has introduced its preschoolers to various STEM activities and learning lessons.   

"They're sponges, and they're observing everything right now," Pulaski said. "They are just taking in everything. So, doing our part at such a young age does makes a big difference as they grow older." 

While the goal is to introduce kids to STEM early, Christenson said an ongoing mission is to promote and bring diversity in the workforce. 

"What we need to do now is make sure our students are represented and make sure they are getting credit for their ideas," Christenson said. "Because when we leave people out of the conversations, then we miss their valuable, important ideas and input. It engages them in realizing what kind of problems they can solve because they are the future." 

RELATED: Hartford, state leaders encourage communities of color to vaccinate children

Raquel Harrington is the race and culture reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at rharrington@fox61.comFollow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Have a story idea or something on your mind you want to share? We want to hear from you! Email us at newstips@fox61.com 



Download the FOX61 News APP 

iTunes: Click here to download 

Google Play: Click here to download 

Stream Live on ROKU: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching FOX61. 

Steam Live on FIRE TV: Search ‘FOX61’ and click ‘Get’ to download. 


Before You Leave, Check This Out