Jameisha Rice – STEM Super Youth Advocate: Tri-Cities
I have always loved science, ever since I was a little girl; more specifically, doing research and presenting what I found to others.The first time I recall digging into science was when a new museum, The Discovery Space, was built in my home city of Charlotte, North Carolina. My earliest experiment started with a classic – I was to build a mock volcano on my own and present it to the judges. For days I read through my children’s encyclopedia – from dinosaurs to the different names of the time periods and the relevant theories on how the dinosaurs had become extinct. And if I was going to be accurate, I had to create tar pools to go along with my homemade dinosaurs. Once my mother and I arrived, it was very apparent that most, if not all, the parents helped their students create their volcanoes. A six-foot-tall volcano that touched the roof was kind of a giveaway. My volcano was not the biggest, nor did it look like it came straight from Jurassic Park. However, I still got third place. It was my knowledge, research, and learning that carried me through to a top-three finish. It was also in that moment that I had my first glimpse of how education can drastically vary from even block to block in the same neighborhood.
I grew up extremely poor so and my K-10 education wasn’t quite what it should have been. Compared to another high school down the street, it seemed they were on a completely different set of standards. It wasn’t until tenth grade, when common core was established in my school, that I realized how behind my school was on educating us on the same level as my peers down the street. From then on, I was a strong believer of students being taught the same materials using the same standards. For me, it would have made a big difference.
These days, I attend WSU-Pullman and for the past two years have been doing research during my undergrad. During my time at WSU I have met so many people who have guided me towards the career path that I want. By connecting me with resources and guiding me through my curriculum, I feel more ready than ever to follow my passion. Now, I want to be able to provide that same guidance to other students, as well as help others understand why all students in the education system need equitable standards and opportunities that can be relayed into a career. That’s why I’m a STEM Super Youth Advocate.
The STEM Super Advocate Blog series highlights young STEM champions from across Washington. These young people have chosen to team up with Washington STEM as we collectively advocate for high quality STEM education, career connected learning, the Next Generation Science Standards and clear STEM pathways for every student in Washington. Every month, we’ll introduce you to four Super Advocates who are working to bringing about change in their community. This work is supported by College Spark Washington.