Factors Affecting African American Persistence in the Sciences

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Science is comprised of fields that investigate the physical and natural world or events dealing with matter, energy, and their interrelations with objectively measurable phenomena (Natural Science). Scientific fields are often subsumed under the umbrella term STEM which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Historically, STEM fields have been void of diversity and largely dominated by White males, leaving minority’s under-represented (Hines 3). Preserving the integrity of these fields is dependent upon diversity because it prevents bias and promotes the contributions different backgrounds bring to academia (Hines 4). Today’s global market requires a growing investment in the fields of science education to remain competitive with other countries (Palmer, Davis and Moore 105). President Baraka Obama has pushed to increase the number of minorities represented in STEM. In the article Obama Pushes STEM in State of the Union, freelance writer for U.S. News Jason Koebler quotes the President’s State of the Union speech where he urges Americans to, “Think about the America within our reach: A country that leads the world in educating its people. An America that attracts a new generation of high-tech manufacturing and high-paying jobs”. President Obama understands that it is essential for the nation to, improve[ing] the quality of math and science teachers so more students have opportunities for high-quality STEM learning and are motivated to pursue STEM
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