Sir Winston Churchill Public School recently hosted Kuumba, a science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) conference dedicated to introducing and sparking an interest for Black female students in various fields.
Kuumba is a Swahili word for "creativity".
"Today is about your creativity and your passion. Your identity is key to our greatness as a nation," says Peter Joshua, director of education.
In the morning, students heard from Dr. Eugenia Doudu, CEO for Visions of Science, which serves to educate low-income students in Toronto about STEAM. Dr. Doudu spoke to the qualities needed to be successful in science as a black woman, such as being seen and being heard, trying everything, and finding people. "I was raised with the mentality that you don't just live for yourself," says Doudu.
Throughout the day, students attended various workshops exploring subjects such as professional DJ-ing, baking and creating a starter project using Microbits. Nicole James, resource teacher and coordinator of the Microbits workshop, spoke to the importance of technology in the education of Black female students. "Instead of closing doors for themselves, they see that there is a world that is open to them if they start making good choices around what opportunities are available to them."
Kuumba was the inaugural STEAM conference through We Rise Together, and is part of the Board-wide action plan to support black students to be their most successful selves.
We Rise Together is the Peel District School Board's action plan to identify, understand, minimize and eliminate the marginalization experienced by Black students in Peel board schools.
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