WATCH: Church as a Venue for Powerful Experiences With STEM

Dr. Whitney Gaskins grew up in predominantly Black churches. Now she’s connecting these communities with STEM engagement opportunities.

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It can be intimidating to be the only person “in the room” who looks like you do. After years of being the only black woman in rooms with other engineers, Dr. Whitney Gaskins made it her mission to ensure that no other Black student in a STEM field feels the same way. She created Empowering Parents in Community Churches (EPICC) STEMulation, a community-focused program that provides STEM learning opportunities for underrepresented youth. And she does this in a space where the students (and their families) feel comfortable: their local churches. EPICC equips church leaders and parents with the tools to deliver STEM content contextualized in the lived experiences of those who attend EPICC’s partner churches. Since launching the organization, Dr. Gaskins has expanded EPICC to two Cincinnati-area churches and continues to empower church leaders and families. Through this community-centered outreach, EPICC STEMulation is growing the number of Black students and parents engaging with STEM.

EPICC joined the Science Sandbox community of awardees in September 2021.

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