By Karen Stokes
Society for Science, one of the nation’s most prominent scientific and educational institutions, recently awarded Glendale teacher Lalitha Murali, a $3,000 stipend from the Society’s Advocate Program to help more students pursue STEM research.
This year, 73 Advocates will each receive a $3,000 stipend.
When it comes to race, Black students are also underrepresented in STEM degrees. Black students earned 7.9% of all degrees but only 3.9% finished with STEM degrees. In comparison, white students earned 72.1% of all degrees and 69.4% of STEM degrees went to white students. International students on the other hand made up 3.8% of all degrees but received 12% of STEM degrees, according to a 2021 Wisconsin Policy Forum study.
“I believe STEM education is very important. It prepares today’s children to become innovators and inventors of tomorrow. That’s why I’m big on providing the hands-on experience and real-world application necessary to develop innovative minds,” Murali said.
In its eighth year, the Advocate Program recognizes and honors the perseverance, hard work and fundamental role that teachers and mentors play in inspiring and supporting students who are the future STEM problem-solvers, critical thinkers and talent.
They could be the next generation of climate scientists, biotechnologists, data analysts, astronomers and engineers.
With American students going back to school this week, teachers will help uplift student populations through their work. The Advocates will be expanding opportunities and participation of students from historically underserved and underrepresented races or ethnicities and low-income households in independent science research and competitions.
These mentors will work to transition their students from hands-on research to successful entry of those projects into science fairs, making STEM career pathways more welcoming, possible and inclusive for all.
This year’s Advocate Program is made possible by Arconic Foundation, Intel Corporation, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, National Geographic Society and Regeneron.