By: North Carolina A&T State University

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s College of Science and Technology (CoST) is hosting its annual SciTech Week, March 21-26. This year’s overarching theme is “Unapologetically Melanated and STEM Educated: Representing the Underrepresented in STEM,” as the college seeks to inspire K-12 Black and brown students as well as collegiate students to pursue STEM degrees and careers.

CoST has designed a comprehensive experience that will challenge students to think innovatively, develop them professionally, and encourage them personally. With the event being virtual, CoST can serve many middle and high school students in state and out of state. Each of the events may be easily accessed through the 2022 SciTech Week website.

Several companies are sponsoring this year’s SciTech Week, including Vanguard, Veeva Systems, Ryder, Thermo Fisher, Microsoft and Amazon.

The week will begin with Young Scientists and Technologists Day on March 21, which involves various CoST student organizations facilitating hands-on virtual STEM learning activities with middle and high school students.

On March 22, 40 companies and graduate programs will engage CoST students in group and individual sessions designed to expose them to various experiential learning opportunities and shape them professionally. This event, also March 22, will be followed by the SciTech Week Opening Program and Innovation Challenge. This year’s Innovation Challenge is sponsored by Vanguard, and will involve 10 teams presenting their novel solutions to either national or global problems before a judges’ panel of industry professionals. The keynote speaker for the evening is Anika Goodwin, M.D., a board-certified ophthalmologist and founder of OpulenceMD Beauty, a luxury eye-specific beauty brand featuring magnetic lashes. She was not only featured on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” but secured a deal with billionaire jewelry mogul, Kendra Scott, to take her beauty brand to the next level.

This year, SciTech Week will focus on Black male STEM education as well as women in science and technology. On March 24, CoST will host its Inspiring Minds Seminar which has the theme, “Is it really a Man’s World: Navigating Being a Black Male in STEM.” This seminar places an emphasis on the unique experiences of African American males in STEM, as it is an area that often goes unaddressed.

The hallmark program for the week is the Women in Science and Technology (WiST) Day, March 25. This year’s WiST Day theme is “Breaking Glass Ceilings and Overcoming Barriers,”and is designed to inspire and celebrate females from middle school through graduate school. The keynote speaker is Nicki Washington, Ph.D., the author of “Unapologetically Dope: Lessons for Black Women and Girls on Surviving and Thriving in the Tech Field,” recognized as one of Essence Magazine’s “Essence Tech Stars: 15 Black Women Disrupting the Tech Industry,” and the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. in computer science from North Carolina State University.

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