• Summary

  • Let’s Talk STEM with Dr. Calvin Mackie is a podcast series featuring interviews with guests from all aspects of STEM – entrepreneurs, educators, corporate leaders and students – who discuss the importance of STEM in their lives today, and how to start STEM careers. The founder and leader of STEM Global Action seeks to expand STEM Education, especially in Black & Brown communities. Since 2013, when he launched his flagship affiliate, STEM NOLA, his programs have directly impacted more than 100,000 students, 20,000 families and 5,000 schools across the U.S. and in five countries abroad
    STEM Global Action
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Episodes
  • May 18 2022

    On the new episode of Let’s talk STEM with Dr. Calvin Mackie, James Burroughs, a top executive at the Children’s Minnesotahealthcare system, asserts that Black & Brown children must have role models in STEM professions to build the confidence that they can also succeed in those careers. But, too often, they don’t exist. Burroughs, a senior vice president at one of the nation’s largest freestanding pediatric health systems, cites the major STEM professions at their facilities - doctor, nurse, medical assistant, certified surgical assistant, radiologist, technician, laboratory technician. “I see nobody looks like me,” he maintains, adding that the lack of people of color can send the wrong message to young minorities, that these jobs are not for them.

    Young people, he says, may think “maybe this is not for me, but I see everybody in the basketball court, they look like me, okay. I need to go play basketball. All my boys are playing football. Let me go play football. And not saying either of those things are wrong. But if that's the only thing I think I can be that determines sometimes my trajectory of what I think I can be.”

    Further, Burroughs talks about the positive images that can be portrayed with the right scenarios and narratives. He extols Dr. Mackie, his classmate at Morehouse College, for creating STEM NOLA, the rapidly growing program that excels at giving K-12 children from under-resourced communities hands-on experience in STEM fields.

    “The things that you do with your STEM Saturdays, the young people in white coats, that innovation, that creative knowledge create solutions for the things in the future, the problems of the future, is what we need,” Burroughs says.

    “One of the things that I love (is) seeing the young kids in white coats. Once you put on that white coat, and I'm sure you've seen it, that confidence goes up. That level of ‘I could do anything goes up’ and that is what I love to see in our young people. So, when they do decide to get into medicine, you know, they've been wearing a white coat since they've been five years old. So, they get their white coat when they graduate medical school, it's where they're supposed to be. It's not a new thing to them. It's where they were supposed to be. And you have put them in a place to say, ‘okay, this is my rightful place. I need to own it.’”

    Listen to their engaging conversation.

    Let’s Talk STEM with Dr. Calvin Mackie is a podcast series featuring interviews with guests from all aspects of STEM – entrepreneurs, educators, corporate leaders and students – who discuss the importance of STEM in their lives today, and how to start STEM careers. The founder and leader of STEM Global Action seeks to expand STEM education, especially in Black & Brown communities. Since 2013, when he launched his flagship affiliate, STEM NOLA, his programs have directly impacted more than 100,000 students, 20,000 families and 2,150 schools across the U.S., and in five countries abroad.

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    33 mins
  • Apr 27 2022

    On the new episode of the Let’s Talk STEM with Dr. Calvin Mackie podcast, Special Guest Jackie Smalls, Chief Programs Officer at Code.org, talks about the racial divide in STEM education and technology. She says the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the gap between STEM learning in White communities versus more limited opportunities in many predominantly Black & Brown schools across the country. “In terms of the gaps, we knew gaps existed, but I think the pandemic just really exposed how big those gaps were and who actually has access,” Jackie tells host Dr. Calvin Mackie. “And it's a shame. We shouldn't have to park a bus in a neighborhood to make sure that all students have access to WIFI. It baffles me how we think that this is not something that should be free and accessible to everyone.”

    Jackie is the Chief Programs Officer, managing Code.org’s curriculum, professional learning programs, and its nationwide network of regional partners & facilitators to expand computer science opportunities in schools. She worked in large and diverse school systems as an experienced teacher, science curriculum writer, and STEM Administrator. Jackie held various leadership roles with Discovery Education, a K-12 Digital curriculum resources provider, running national professional learning programming and education partnerships impacting tens of thousands of teachers and students. Combining her passion for education and STEM she was the head of programs at Black Girls Code with the oversight of (14) City Chapters Workshops, Enrichments, Summer Camp Programming and Strategic Partnerships impacting thousands of girls of color.

    In the conversation with Dr. Mackie, the topics include what it takes to overcome racial barriers to excelling in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields; why it’s critical for Black & Brown students to have access to STEM learning; and the important role that mentors play in encouraging STEM careers. Calling out technology companies, Jackie says if they want to make a difference in our society, they should be providing Wi-Fi everywhere.

    Jackie knows racial barriers are real. “I had a student tell me that she walked into a college computer science class, a Black girl…The professor, came to her and said, ‘Are you in the right class?’“  At code.org, “we are trying to make sure computer science is accessible for all students,” says Jackie. The nonprofit is dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools and increasing participation by young women and students from under-resourced communities.

    “You’re teaching a society,” lauds Dr. Mackie, who leads STEM Global Action. “I believe you have a voice that every mother and every father need to hear because it's credible, it's transparent and it's authentic.”

                                                          ###

    Dr. Calvin Mackie founded STEM NOLA in 2013. The New Orleans non-profit is committed to expanding STEM education, especially in communities of color. In July 2021, Dr. Mackie launched STEM Global Action, a campaign and network pursuing STEM education for children, parents and communities. His initiatives have impacted more than 100,000 students, 20,000 families and 5,000 schools across the U.S., and in five countries. An archive of Let’s Talk STEM with Dr. Calvin Mackie episodes on YouTube is HERE.

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    29 mins
  • Apr 12 2022

    Gerald Solomon, founder and executive director of the North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF), calls esports  a “job machine"  for STEM orientated youth on the new episode of the Let’s Talk STEM with Dr. Calvin Mackie podcast.  Rapidly expanding  electronic sports gaming platforms are preparing young people with the skills they need for the workforce of tomorrow.  “It's a multibillion-dollar industry and there are all facets within it,” Solomon says, adding that he frequently tells parents about the opportunities for jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) throughout the esports / gaming industry.

    “You may watch kids playing on a computer, but who built the game,” Solomon asks. “Who coded it?  Who set up the event? Who created the networking? Who's doing the coaching? Who did the data analytics and used mathematics statistics to determine how to play better? Who's doing the streaming and shoutcasting, which is the play-by-play announcement? Who created the art? Who did the logos? Who did the marketing? Who did the business development on it? Who created the IT infrastructure? That's all STEM. And that's the future.”

    Exactly, how big is esports?

    Solomon says an event at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn sold out 19,000 seats in three hours, but that's isn’t even the real story." The real statistic is more people watched kids play computers against other kids on the digital platform called Twitch than the total number of people that watched the Super Bowl, watched the NBA championships and watched the Major League Baseball Championship combined,” he says. “Imagine what it's like when you have an audience of hundreds of millions of people who just sit there and watch kids play on computers. That tells you the impact of esports gaming.”

    Listen to our enlightening podcast to learn more.

    Let’s Talk STEM with Dr. Calvin Mackie,  a podcast series that features interviews with guests from all aspects of STEM – entrepreneurs, educators, corporate leaders, students – who will talk about the importance of STEM in their lives today. They are the mentors for the next generation of STEM leaders, models of success for others to follow.

    ABOUT STEM GLOBAL ACTION

    Dr. Calvin Mackie founded STEM NOLA in 2013. The New Orleans non-profit is committed to expanding STEM education, especially in communities of color.  In July 2021, Dr. Mackie launched STEM Global Action, a campaign and network pursuing STEM education for children, parents and communities. His initiatives have impacted more than 100,000 students, 20,000 families and 5,000 schools across the U.S., and in five countries

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    32 mins

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Engaging and great for parents!

Such an engaging discussion and wonderful to be able to hear a personal story of a woman who has not only succeeded in STEM but has used her skill-base to address the racial disparity in the STEM pipeline and incorporate her African heritage. This conversation brings attention to the immense need for youth of color to invest in their STEM education and to have exposure and the opportunity to interact with these topics at a young age. As Dr. Calvin Mackie points out, we often leave children with only 3 options: they are “going to take something, break something, and/or make something” and it’s our responsibility to give them enough tools to not limit them to the first two options. A great listen!