Giving Compass' Take:

• A clinical professor in the Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education at Georgia State University describes the growing gaps and disparities for students in STEM education. 

• In what other ways is COVID-19 disrupting education? How can donors help bolster innovative solutions to address these widening gaps? 

• Read about equity in education during COVID-19. 

“Some teachers would have lowered expectations, telling me, ‘You’re not cutting the mustard,’ or ‘You’re not as good as everybody else.’ And that can really create a horrible schooling experience for children,” says Williams, a clinical professor in the department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education in the College of Education and Human Development at Georgia State University.

“Not only could I not see myself in the curriculum, but I was told very early on that I was not very good at math and science. I never want another child to have that experience.”

Williams works to ensure all children have access to an excellent education. He serves as the director of the Alonzo A. Crim Center for Urban Educational Excellence, where he works with a team of faculty and staff to advocate for young people in urban communities to identify and remove the roadblocks they face in public education.

During the pandemic, Williams developed a video series to highlight how science can be fun and accessible even at home. “At Home with Dr. Science” features Williams and his own children taking on basic science activities, from making a lava lamp to exploring solubility using Sharpie markers.

You’re a science educator who’s also involved in equity initiatives in education. How do those two things intersect?

Much of the work I do focuses on addressing challenges related to justice, power, and equity in public education. I also have a background in the natural sciences, so a lot of the work I do with local schools and teachers focuses on ensuring that all children have access to quality science instruction and that they can see themselves in the science.

Read the full article about STEM education gaps by Noelle Toumey Reetz at Futurity.