A newly-launched mobile app is inspiring students to learn about the accomplishments of African American and Latino science pioneers in a fun and entertaining way.
TellMeWhoIAm Science Leaders, created by Los Angeles-based media and entertainment company KidPositive, introduces players to diverse leaders in science, engineering, and technology, both past and present.
The mobile application predominately, although not exclusively, showcases black American, Latino, and women diverse characters that have made or are making significant scientific and technological contributions to society. It is a spin-off from the award-winning movie and upcoming 13-episode TV series ‘Tell me who I am’.
“Primarily we wanted to really change the culture, where kids begin to see scientists, engineers, and inventors as heroes, as leaders in society,” said Darryl Grayson, president of KidPositive. “The same way they may see sports figures, or entertainers, or even civil rights or political leaders as heroes. We wanted to emphasize to kids to change the paradigm because the future of society really is based in technology.”
The interactive game features prominent figures such as NASA scientist, Christine Darden; self-taught Mexican rocket scientist, Juan Manuel Lozano; and inventor and mathematician, Benjamin Banneker, among others.
The app challenges the knowledge, memory, and quick response skills of users. The objective is to achieve a high score of 160 in the overall game. The highest scoring players will be listed on the Top 10 Leader Board to win promotional prize giveaways. Users can also post their scores on Facebook.
The mobile application, which was soft-launched to app stores on September 26, 2015, is already gaining traction with positive reviews on Play Store and iTunes from students, parents, and educators alike. One of the Plays Store users Eelco Naumann said, “The thing I really like about this app is it makes learning about scientists nobody ever heard of actually kind of fun.”
“We understand that there is a need to increase STEM representation, specifically for African Americans, Latinos and women,” added Grayson, a former BET executive. “All of the major corporations, foundations, and academic institutions have been talking about the need to increase representation of those three groups in STEM.”
“If you look at our app you’ll see that’s what we’re focused on. We’re looking at diverse scientists that kids can see as role models to give them a sense that they too can become great men and women of science. We expect teachers, science enrichment program directors, parents and others would want their kids to use this app for that very reason.”
The mobile application will stay up-to-date by automatic updates featuring new diverse leaders. In fact, users can recommend new characters. The app is suitable for children of all ages, although mainly students 9 to 14, and is an interactive educational resource for the entire family to have fun while learning together. It can also be played without Wi-Fi connection.
Follow Kunbi Tinuoye on Twitter@Kunbiti