The Society of Plastics Engineers' PlastiVan program has visited hundreds — if not thousands — of classrooms over the years to introduce kids to plastics and STEM programs in general.
But how do you reach out to kids most in need of exposure to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers while also opening doors to a more diverse workforce?
As Sarah Kominek writes, SPE looked to partner with a someone already working with kids in urban Detroit schools: Keith Young, founder of Detroit-based science research lab Ecotek Science at Work.
This summer, with many education programs sidelined or shuffled to virtual content only, Young and PlastiVan hoped to see some 1,000 students from fourth through 12th grade for its new program in Detroit. But by June, about 6,000 had taken part.
Alumni from Young's Ecotek program also are among the first Black educators for PlastiVan: Evan Morton and Briana Young.
"I want to help lead the next generation of young scientists find their passion," Morton said.
Sarah's story on PlastiVan's work in Detroit is just one part of the special report Plastics News staffers produced this week about diversity in the plastics industry. You can go to www.plasticsnews.com/diversity to find all of our coverage.