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Women of Color Still Lag Behind in Stem Jobs Despite Efforts to Change

women of color still lag behind in stem jobs
Photo by Desola Lanre-Ologun on Unsplash

(By Marisa Peñaloza for NPR)

On a recent Spring weekend 126 high school students from around the country gathered at the first National STEM Festival in Washington, D.C. They are winners of a science challenge organized by EXPLR, an organization that produces and distributes educational materials, including videos and curriculum, for high school students in the U.S.

The winners were here to showcase their projects in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to government and industry leaders.

At the National STEM Festival, 12th-grader Treyonna Sullivan talks with visitors about her "Project Poop," created to encourage pet owners in her community to dispose of their pet's waste.
Dee Dwyer for NPR
At the National STEM Festival, 12th-grader Treyonna Sullivan talks with visitors about her “Project Poop,” created to encourage pet owners in her community to dispose of their pet’s waste. Dee Dwyer for NPR

There were students like Treyonna Sullivan. She’s 17 and a senior at Renaissance High School for Musical Theater in the Arts in the South Bronx, New York.

“My project is called Project Poop,” she says, with a big smile. It’s a smart trash can that counts the poop dumps put in it. It’s a metal, ruby red bucket – when you press the handle the lid opens up and the computer counts the dump.

“We have a huge poop problem in my community,” Sullivan says, and she believes that if people could see the daily number of dumps collected, perhaps people would start changing habits and clean up after their pets.

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