I have been deeply committed to science literacy and educational outreach since my early years at Morehouse College. As a sophomore, I became the director of the Frederick Douglass Tutorial Institute; a student-run Saturday school designed to serve youth from the municipal housing developments surrounding the Atlanta University Center. This weekly event attracted 60-100 students from the Atlanta public school system from first grade through tenth grade and assigned tutors for math, science, reading, English, and history.
In 2001, I designed and implemented a national network of weather camp programs. These camps have become a nationally recognized summer program for high school and middle school students to explore academic and professional opportunities in weather, climate, and environmental sciences. The first camp was offered in 2002 in Washington, DC. Over the next ten years, affiliate camps were developed and as many as eleven locations within the continental US and Puerto Rico were offering camps based not he model that I developed. To date, over seven hundred (700) high school and middle school students have participated in the CAREERS camps with several camp alumni now pursuing their PhDs in Atmospheric Sciences. The camps have also spread to Barbados and the Philippines, and plans for other African and Caribbean nations are in the works.
In the local area, I sponsor a series of “Community Science Fests”. This program is a model for bringing science to communities and subpopulations that are not traditionally exposed to such opportunities. It involves the engagement and provision of immersive hands-on activities designed to show students from elementary school through high school are conducted in a variety of settings. Most often, these events are brought to the community in which the students comprising the audience reside. The events are open to anyone but the venues are selected to ensure that underprivileged children have full and direct access to science, that their parents have access to scholarship and program information for their children, and that linkages are provided for return events, open forums, tutoring, and academic reinforcement. I have also conducted similar programs in the Barbados, Brazil, Ethiopia, Philippines, and Sudan. I hope to continue to bring the joy of science to wherever it is welcome and inquiring young minds desire to learn. If you are interested in learning more, please contact me!