Black Gems in STEM is an academic success workbook, designed for students in grades 4 and 5. The purpose of the workbook is to foster the cultivation of future leaders in STEM by:
- strengthening the students’ core fundamentals of education (reading, writing, and arithmetic) and
- featuring Black people in STEM who can serve as role models for our children.
Each section of the workbook consists of: a biographical passage; reading comprehension questions; writing problems; mathematics problems; and two activities.
- Biographical Passages – The biographical passages are either short biographies or historical fiction stories about the featured individual. Emphasis, in these passages, is placed on the individual’s contribution to the STEM fields.
- Reading Comprehension Questions – Following each passage is a set of multiple choice questions related to the reading. The question types that can be found in these sections are inference, vocabulary-in-context, main idea, detail, and tone.
- Writing Problems – The writing problems involve identifying and correcting grammatical errors. One section includes a short writing prompt in lieu of the problems.
- Mathematics Problems – The math section consists of multiple choice word problems. The math concepts that are covered in these problems involve arithmetic, algebra, and geometry.
- Activities – In addition to the educational aspect of the workbook, there are engaging activities at the end of each section. These activities include crossword puzzles, word searches, design activities, critical thinking exercises, and more. Even though all of these activities are not directly educational, they all have educational value. Furthermore, many of these activities integrate the arts into STEM (STEAM) by emphasizing the inherent role that art plays in STEM fields through activities such as designing and drawing. STEAM is also evident throughout the workbook by way of the illustrations that are used to complement the passages, questions, and activities.
The material in this workbook covers concepts that fourth and fifth graders should be familiar with. On that note, the problems were developed with the various domains and clusters of the Common Core Standards used as reference points. Nevertheless, some of the problems are designed to be challenging to allow for continued academic growth.
List of featured Black Gems in STEM (in order by birth date):
- Thomas Fuller
- Benjamin Banneker
- Lewis Latimer
- George W. Carver
- Madam C. J. Walker
- Garrett A. Morgan
- Marie Maynard Daly
- Annie Easley
- Patricia Bath
- Mae C. Jemison