I’ve BEEN saying we should elect Mos Def for president, particularly after I saw him in this If I Were President video on the hip online consortium GOOD. The man loves African American children with abandon. And for that, I love him back. I love him even more today knowing that he’s all up in the middle of an awesome FREE program this Sunday that’ll encourage kids to embrace science, math, and discovery.
Oakland’s own Chabot Space & Science Center will play host to The Instituting Science In Schools (I.S.I.S.) Science & Culture Festival, which will bring live poetry, guest speakers, and a special, first-of-it’s kind holographic appearance of NASA astronaut Leland Melvin and Mos Def, talking up math and science. Even sweeter: Bay Area soul singer Goapele is hosting, with her cute self.
The fair is all a part of I.S.I.S.’s mission to bring “culturally competent” science curricula to the next generation of American students, particularly in light of the fact that scores from the 2006 Program for International Student Assessement shows that the average science score of U.S. students lags behind those in 16 of 30 of the world's richest industrialized countries. That same assessment shows that our students are even further behind in math, trailing counterparts in 23 countries.
What better way to engage and wow students with math and science particularly African American children by having them interact with poets, actors and astronauts who look like them?
If I lived anywhere near Oakland, I'd be all over this. Alas, I'm in Georgia. Cool stuff like this needs to happen here. But this weekend, it’s going down in Cali. If you’re in the area, treat the kids (and your wallet, seeing as it’s FREE):