Inspiring Black Innovators in Fort McMurray

Credit: Diversity Magazine

People of African descent are known for entertainment and not so much in science and technology. An organization in Fort McMurray want to change all that. On July 27, 2019, at the Meadow Creek Community Hall (Timberlea) in Fort McMurray, youths of African heritage were empowered in science, technology, engineering, technology, art and mathematics (STEAM).

The youth program aims to engage youth by introducing them to Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) programs as well as provide an avenue for them to be mentored by black professionals. The program will introduce youths to various engineering disciplines (mechanical, chemical etc.), design and soft skills (communication, team-work) with the hope of increasing the interest and retention in these fields. In addition to the STEAM programs, there will be mentorship (peer, informal or formal) with these youths to provide guidance on various issues – education, career, financial literacy etc.

The city of Fort McMurray is primarily dominated by the Oil and Gas Industries with a number of STEAM programs held by various non-profit organizations; however, the turnout of black youth at these programs are very low. In an effort to engage youths of African descent, program organizer, Rehoboth Alliance, is having black professionals act as mentors to deliver these programs to the black youth.

The program introduces youth to black inventors who made huge contributions to society and recreate experiments while teaching the science concepts of invention.

Whereas the program is focus on youths of African descent, it is open to any youth interested.

“I enjoyed learning about building my own cipher code,” one youth said, and another shared that, “I liked the Morse code activity”

The next event is scheduled for Saturday, August 24, at 10003 Gordon Avenue, First United Church Complex, Fort Mcmurray, Alberta, from 2 to 6 PM.

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