In Grand Rapids, Mich., STEM Greenhouse and Grand Rapids Community College, both WKKF grantees, have partnered to expand a five-week summer program, Sankofa STEM Academy, to include 5th graders, in addition to students in grades 6-12. The program aims to make STEM education more enjoyable and engaging for students of color through summer and after-school activities. 

Keli Christopher, the CEO and founder of STEM Greenhouse, knows well the need for early preparation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The organization aims to break down barriers related to age, gender and race in these fast-growing career fields. Christopher recently joined Wayman Britt, former University of Michigan basketball star and current host of podcast, Fulfilling the Dream, to talk about the creation of STEM Greenhouse and its future vision:

“It’s a space for incubation, an opportunity for students to grow, so we can see that transformational change – and it’s going to require a bigger investment of time.”

By expanding Sankofa STEM Academy to include 5th graders, STEM Greenhouse can foster a love for science and math from an earlier age, giving students the confidence and interest to pursue careers in these fields in the future. 

“We’re here to partner,” Christopher told Britt. “We want the kids to have the best possible outcome.”

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