Over the past several years, increasing opportunity in and improving Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) education has been a pressing issue in our nation. President Obama has expressed the importance of improving STEM education for all American youth, especially youth from underrepresented populations and who are traditionally known to be marginalized as it relates to STEM.

The United States Department of Education reports that the United States is falling behind internationally in both mathematics and science, which is unacceptable considering the global economy. Reports show STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17 percent from 2008 to 2018, compared to 9.8 percent growth for non¬STEM. Further, African American and Latino/a students’ interest in STEM has decreased significantly and is now lower compared to their ethnic counterparts and is expected to remain lower during the coming years. Therefore, due to students of color lack of interest in STEM, statistically they will not acquire the skills needed to compete for future STEM jobs and ultimately there will be fewer jobs available for them

HipHopEd STEM is a response to the national and global inequalities in STEM education. Through education research and programming that utilizes youth culture and culturally relevant approaches, HipHopEd STEM aims to engage and prepare an increasing amount of youth for careers in STEM. Some of our programming efforts include the Science Genius BATTLES program, a program that uses Hip¬Hop to engage urban youth in science and the Science Genius Academy, a program that provides urban youth with authentic science internship experiences.

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