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According to The Condition of STEM 2013 Report, “The academic achievement gap that exists in general for ethnically diverse students is even more pronounced among those interested in the STEM fields.”

In 2013, 24 percent of African American students passed the math section of the ACT while only 18 percent of African American students passed the science assessment of the ACT. These percentages are based off of the ACT’s College Readiness Benchmarks. defines the Benchmarks as scores on the ACT subject-area tests that represent the level of achievement required for students to have a 50% chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75% chance of obtaining a C or higher in corresponding credit-bearing first-year college courses. These college courses include English composition, college algebra, introductory social science courses, and biology.

Based off of this information we can ascertain students within our community are not performing well in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) disciplines.

SEE ALSO: University Of Phoenix To Award 40 Full-Ride Scholarships. Will You Vie For One? [VIDEO]

On Thursday, Roland Martin, host of “NewsOne Now” spoke with Courtney Tanebaum, Senior Researcher for American Institutes for Research, Dr. Harold L. Martin, Sr., Chancellor at North Carolina A&T State University and Estella Pyfrom, Founder of “Estella’s Brilliant Bus” about what do we need to do to make STEM disciplines more appealing to our youth.

Tanebaum explained in order to get more Black students involved in a STEM education at the college level, “early exposure” is key. “Providing minority students with the role models and mentors that are viable, that are relevant, they’re in their communities and they’re showing them, highlighting to them what it means to have a STEM career, what it means to succeed at STEM education is a must.”

Estella Pyfrom, founder of “Estella’s Brilliant Bus,” believes in taking technology to the masses because “many of the students who do not have access to technology can’t get to where the technology is located.” She told Martin, “it is a better match to be able to take technology to those communities.

Dr. Harold L. Martin said, “The world is shrinking because of technology, the opportunities are immense  … we have to begin early with our children, exposing them to opportunities to be excited about math and science.”

He added, too often many of our children hear family members or friends say, “I don’t like math, I don’t like science and that becomes a prevailing thought in their mind and then they steer away from those subject areas.”

SEE ALSO: Filling the Pipeline: Growing Successful STEM Programs at HBCUs

Dr. Martin went on to explain that areas covered in a STEM education will present themselves to students later on in life and without early exposure to a STEM education, these individuals may miss out on lucrative opportunities in their careers and future businesses endeavors. 

Watch Roland Martin, Courtney Tanebaum, Dr. Harold L. Martin, Sr. and Estella Pyfrom discuss how vital it is for our youth to become proficient in STEM disciplines and what we as a community should do to help spark that interest in the video clip above.


For more information about the program or to register visit You may also review the eligibility criteria for being considered for one of the 40 full-tuition scholarships UOPX will award in either education, health care or criminal justice.

Below, watch the following web exclusive video from the University of Phoenix. You’ll see alumni share their experiences of attending UOPX and achieving their dreams of becoming college graduates.

Those who share their stories above include Tony Drees of Denver, Colo., who earned a Master of Management degree; Curtis Sampson of Chicago, who completed his studies to become a Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership; Denise Washington of Kalamazoo, Mich., who also earned a Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership degree; Gail Marquis of Jersey City, NJ who earned her MBA; Current doctorate learner Evelyn Banks from Memphis, Tenn.; MBA, Michael Johnson from Madison, Wis. and Amir Johnson from Stuart, Fla., who earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business/Management.

Be sure to watch “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, weekdays at 9 a.m. EST on TV One.

 Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.

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