Dr. Alicia Jackson is the STEM/STEAM Teacher with Harper-Archer Elementary School in Atlanta, and will soon complete her STEM Endorsement with Metro RESA.

Like so many others in STEM, she became interested in Science when she started have hands-on experiences in Chemistry and Biology in high school,

Alicia says “In 10th grade, we were required to take a Biology and Chemistry, and I became so enthralled and perhaps mesmerized by the intricacies of Science.  For a time, I thought I wanted to become an astronaut.”

It was her high school Biology teacher Mr. Little, who sparked her interest in Science.  In addition to being patient, kind, and passionate about science, he insisted student build Science skills by using his lab every day, and always made it a point to connect what they were learning in class to the outside world, adding meaning, relevance, and authenticity to every lesson.

It’s this fascination with hands-on Science that drove Alicia to study Chemical Engineering in college.  And though she never did become an astronaut, her continuing love of Science have provided her with an endless array of opportunities to broaden her Science skills, most notably in Science Education.

Continuing in Mr. Little’s tradition, Alicia began her teaching career as a Science Staff Developer and a Science Consultant, helping teachers to become more effective teachers and instructional leaders in their classroom. Her real-world science experience allowed her utilize professional learning strategies that were engaging and bridged content connections between science, technology, engineering, and math.

  • To help broaden and diversify the STEM pipeline to include more young women, Alica encourages teachers and schools to:
    Actively debunk stereotypes about women in STEM
  • Make it a point to talk to young girls about pursuing a career in Science to help combat silent social pressures.
  • Actively include examples of successful women in STEM in lessons and school events so girls can have a clear understanding that there’s a future for them in STEM fields.
  • Provide a wide range of opportunities for girls to succeed at completing STEM-related activities

To continue the learning outside of school, Alicia recommends parents and teachers work together to identify STEM mentors and create STEM afterschool programs.

Alicia worries about the number of women in STEM fields.  She says “I believe there to be misconceptions about girls participating in a STEM education program, much less considering a STEM career. We must encourage and motivate our young girls to explore those STEM fields that have historically been designated for men. It is imperative that we continually inspire our girls to seize the day and embrace those STEM fields that are in their grasps and specifically tailored for them.”

 

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Out Teach, formerly REAL School Gardens, provides professional development for elementary school teachers. Out Teach prepares them to use school gardens, outdoor classrooms, and green schoolyards to improve instruction through three-dimensional project-based learning, and outdoor experiential inquiry-based education. Professional learning with Out Teach improves hands-on science and STEM education through instructional coaching and digital education resources and improves 21st Century skills.