The Oscar-nominated film and book Hidden Figures put a spotlight on the Black female mathematicians and engineers who worked at NASA. These Virginia women are sharing their stories and inspiring the next generation of female scientists. In this special Science Matters edition of Virginia Currents, Catherine Komp has more.
Articles by Catherine Komp
In K-12 education, girls are less likely to take engineering and computer science classes. In higher education, more disparities emerge especially for women of color, according to the non-profit National Girls Collaborative Project. Citing data from the National Science Board, that group points out that in the professional workforce, women make up just 11% of physicists and astronomers; 10% of electrical or computer hardware engineers, and 8% of mechanical engineers.
Women have played significant roles throughout Virginia’s 400 year long history. But they’re often minimized or left out of history books completely. A collection of essays, Virginia Women: Their Lives and TImes, aims to shed more light on this diverse history. WCVE’s Catherine Komp has more for Virginia Currents.
This month, Colonial Williamsburg launched the “Revolutionary in Residence” program. The first to hold the position is culinary historian Michael Twitty, author of the blog Afroculinaria and the forthcoming book The Cooking Gene: a Journey Through African-American Culinary History in the Old South. Catherine Komp has more for Virginia Currents.
Virginia educators gathered in Richmond for the first “Teachers of Color” summit. Organized by the Virginia Education Association (VEA), the event featured National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes and Virginia Teacher of the Year Dr. Toney McNair, Jr., the first black male to receive the recognition. One of the goals of the gathering was to discuss strategies to recruit and retain a more diverse staff to benefit all students. The summit also marked the 50th anniversary of the merger between the VEA and the predominately black Virginia Teachers Association.
A collaboration in Richmond examines how dance can be used to create community and foster dialogue. The partnership between VCU, the non-profit Dance Exchange, and members of the public culminates this weekend with the performance “Still Crossing.” Catherine Komp has more for Virginia Currents.
A new exhibit at the Black History Museum features the work of the late Murry DePillars. The longtime dean of VCU’s School of the Arts used his talents to document social justice issues and celebrate African traditions and history. Catherine Komp has more for Virginia Currents.
This Fall, students begin classes at a new public regional high school. CodeRVA’s focus is computer science and aims to increase diversity in STEM-related fields. The school start with 100 students and add 100 each year until reaching a capacity of 400. It will serve students from 12 area school districts: Chesterfield, Colonial Heights City, Dinwiddie, Hanover, Henrico, Hopewell City, New Kent, Powhatan, Prince George and Sussex, in addition to Richmond and Petersburg.
Despite the availability of free tax prep services, more than half of low income families use for-profit companies, according to the Tax Policy Center. In Central Virginia, United Way sponsors a program that’s helped thousands of households avoid fees and maximize their returns. Catherine Komp has more for Virginia Currents.