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Metropolitan AME to Host 'Percy Julian Morning of Discovery' Program

Special to The Informer | 10/24/2011, 12:01 p.m.

Are minority youth "STEM-phobic" - fearful of studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics?

Determined to demystify these subjects and encourage District middle school students to study and prepare to enter these vital and lucrative careers, an unusual coalition of religious, educational, governmental, private and non-profit organizations have joined forces to host the "Percy Julian Morning of Discovery on Sat., Oct. 29 at Metropolitan AME Church, 1518 M St., in Northwest.

Metropolitan's community outreach arm -- the Daniel Alexander Payne Community Development Corporation (CDC) -- is collaborating with the American Chemical Society, National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and Howard University's Department of Atmospheric Sciences to host the inaugural event and jointly launch the Percy L. Julian Institute. Dr. Julian (l899--l973) was an award-winning African-American research scientist, who held more than 130 chemical patents.

"Minorities have historically been significantly underrepresented in the STEM fields," said the Rev. Ronald E. Braxton, senior pastor of Metropolitan. "They deserve to be able to pursue opportunities and be supported and encouraged to follow their dreams."

Targeting minority students from D.C. public and charter schools, the Morning of Discovery will provide parents with resources to nurture their children's interest in STEM subjects, as well to as counsel students on classes required to apply for college and major in STEM fields.

Sign-in and continental breakfast for the Morning of Discovery begins at 8 a.m. and the event starts at 9 a.m.

Offerings include talks on opportunities for women and minorities, active scientists leading hands-on experiments and scientists leading students in discovery sessions. They will take place at the American Chemical Society, located next door to Metropolitan at 1522 M St.