Hello and welcome to STEM Voodoo. My name is Eric Washington and I created this blog site in an attempt to facilitate resources and pathways towards STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) interest, education, and career opportunities for underrepresented minority groups. In order for me to tell you more about this site, I feel that I should tell you a little bit about myself. At the moment that I am writing this post, I am also preparing to begin my final semester of undergraduate school. I will be graduating within the next few months with a degree in computer engineering. I am also what most people would categorize as a non-traditional student. I am a African-American male student that did not pursue computer engineering until I was in my mid 30s. Although I am a little late to the party, I am very grateful for the position that I am currently in, and I am happy to be here.
Growing up I received very little if any encouragement to pursue STEM fields. Throughout high school I was only interested in learning enough math to build my confidence to where I could count money at a cash register accurately. To me, doing that was a real world application and a likely scenario for my future, or so I thought. There were no guidance counselors steering me towards STEM related fields, and I also realize that that experience is not a unique to me.
Why STEM Voodoo?
As I continue to move forward with my own STEM career, I can’t help but to notice the evident diversity gap. Year after year research continues to show low numbers of unrepresented minorities in the STEM workforce. Those numbers are even smaller among employed adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher. Being a non-traditional student, I am used to being the oldest person in my class, but often I am also the only African-American student in my class. Although it was a challenge for me to get where I am today, I would like to see more minority representation in STEM fields moving forward. I realize that not everyone has access to tutors throughout the year, attentive guidance counselors, or family members that hold STEM positions. I did not have those things either and frankly, I did not know where to turn for guidance and/or assistance during many points along my journey. In my attempt to become a first generation college graduate, I continuously find myself learning new things each and everyday. I hope that this site will help to generate interest in STEM, encourage others, and provide resources for those individuals who may want to either enter into STEM fields or start a STEM related business.
Just encase this needs to be clarified, “Voodoo” as it refers to this site, is just a play on words used to describe seemingly inexpiable foreign concepts. Imagine how electricity or magnetism may seem like “Voodoo” or “Magic” to a new observer who has no concept of the physics behind them. In that particular case, once someone understands the basic physics behind electricity and magnetism, then it is no longer considered “Voodoo” or “Magic”. It becomes something new that is now explainable and familiar. The same can be said for other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) concepts.
What to Expect
- This site will evolve overtime. I will post updates weekly to the blog, and hopefully they will be of some interest to you. If not, I do hope that you do find interest in other aspects of this website. I will update the site with information on minority scholarships and grants, and I will also highlight minority serving organizations, events, and milestones.
- Please note that my background is in computer engineering, so my post may skew there at times, and they may be random. I am a bit biased when it comes to the tech industry and strongly feel that there is a younger generation of underrepresented minorities that could potentially be missing out on various lucrative careers with in it. With that said, I will also be celebrating other STEM fields.
- At the moment, I am the only one operating this site and I will attempt to make it as user friendly as possible. If you are experiencing any difficulties feel free to contact me.
- I made this site for you, so I encourage you to communicate with me directly to improve it. Please tell me what you want to see from this platform. I also encourage professionals out there to collaborate and/or contribute resources in whatever ways they can so that others may receive proper guidance along their journey.
- This site will stay up as long as there is interest in it, or as long as I can afford to run it. So, lets enjoy this ride together and see where it leads.
- You have just read the very first post on STEM Voodoo, which also happens to be the “About Us” page (for now).
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