Hidden Figures: How Pecuniary Influences Help Shape STEM Experiences for Black Students in Grades K-12

Abstract

The demand for increasing participation of grades K-12 students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education has steadily increased over time. However, the extent to which black students in K-12 gain equitable access toward a quality STEM education and eventual STEM-related careers is primarily a reflection of pecuniary influences, including socioeconomic status (SES) and inequitable educational funding. To this point, the National Science and Technology Council cautioned K-12 educators of the increasing shortage of historically marginalized students, such as black students, in STEM fields and the national and global repercussions for the U.S.A. Through a synthesis of reviewed literature including reviews of empirical studies that explore the dynamics of socioeconomics, race, and policies, and a discussion about what is missing from the literature, this article examines how SES and inequitable funding have slowed efforts toward increased participation of black students in STEM. The study concludes with final thoughts about what could be done to change course.

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Ramsay-Jordan, N.N. Hidden Figures: How Pecuniary Influences Help Shape STEM Experiences for Black Students in Grades K-12. J Econ Race Policy 3, 180–194 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41996-019-00049-7

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Keywords

  • Black students
  • Funding
  • Socioeconomic status
  • STEM