Dr. Reagan Flowers is president and CEO of C-STEM Teacher and Student Support Services, Inc., an organization that she founded to provide support educational services to teachers and students, particularly in underserved and underrepresented communities.
She was a Science teacher at Yates High School in Houston’s Third Ward when she discovered robotics through a grant from NASA to build a robot. When Dr. Flowers and her team showed up at the competition, she realized they were the only minoritiy group there. This was around 1996, and "it was heartbreaking," she says.
So she discovered, Dr. Flowers say, that without awareness about what STEM is, minorities and low-income kids couldn't possibly join, and therefore would keep missing opportunities. "STEM jobs from, let's see, 1990 have increased 79 pct, and so that's somewhere from 9.7 million jobs to maybe 17," Dr. Flowers explain. "And then you look at minority participation, we can say just Hispanic and African-Americans ... that's around 9 pct, 7 pct," of that.
Watch Dr. Reagan Flowers talking about her mission with KPRC's Khambrel Marshall.
Not only was she able to teach valuable lessons within STEM, but she discovered the power of communication. Communication strategies and tactics can impact the way students, educators, and professionals better understand the disciplines of STEM. This is how C-STEM was born.