How to Get Your Child Engaged in Science - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

African American children are the most likely consumers of digital technology but are rarely exposed to what it takes to create it, says Leshell Hatley, whose nonprofit, Uplift Inc., won a $162,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning Competition. She’s using the money to fund YouthAppLab and teach African American and Latino children in Washington, D. C., how to build mobile apps. Here are four things she says parents can do to increase their child’s interest in technology, math, and science.

  1. Don’t tell your child to sit down and be quiet, says Hatley. Science is basically about exploring a problem and solving it. Allow your child to ask questions and safely investigate his or her surroundings.
  2. Don’t readily give them the answers. Instead of telling children how condensation works, create a lab in your home where they can explore, make mistakes, and find answers.
  3. Point and explain. “Pointing starts the connection,” says Hatley. “It is a commonly used technique for learning and it increases engagement.”
  4. Look around your home and talk about where things come from. Ask them questions about how products (TVs, computers, etc.) are made and what types of things they would like to invent. Make a connection between those ideas and the lessons the child is learning in their math and science classes.

Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.