Sitting in a lunchroom with about 50 Black teens it might seem odd to hear conversations about deductive reasoning, solar panels, spades, and Drake. In this setting, however, it doesn’t seem far-fetched at all.
ComEd hosted day two of its third annual Solar Spotlight program. The program was designed to expose and encourage Black students to take advantage of the opportunities in the field of STEM, an acronym that stand for science, technology, engineering and math. On this day, the students worked on designing street lights. On day one, they designed a solar panel suitcase that is used as a power source. They delivered these suitcases to Africa, Haiti and Puerto Rico.
We spoke with a couple of students and a teacher about this program and why it is important for Black students.
“It’s important for Black students [because] it gets them out of their neighborhood. In our neighborhood, there is a lot of killing, violence and drugs. A program like this lets us know that there is more to life than those things. There is more that we can do and contribute to the world,” said Donquevis Stokes.
“In most fields, you don’t really see Black people being a part of it. This program shows us that Black people can be in all types of positions,” said Kaharra Golden
Public school teacher Carolyn A. Williams said, “Kids take science classes but they don’t see how science is used every day in their lives. This program is really very important so that they understand where all the math, scientific and electrical theories go.”
The energy in the class was infectious. It is encouraging to see students so eager to learn from their Black mentors and be excited about it.