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Blog At the Museum

Making Black history in science

Happy Black History Month! We had a blast at the Museum’s fifth annual Black Excellence in Science event, which welcomed visitors to meet local Black scientists and organizations that empower our community, to celebrate the Black innovators, researchers, and STEM professionals of today — and tomorrow.

This event wouldn’t have been possible without the input and expertise of our community partners: Duke’s BOOST (Building Opportunities and Overtures in Science and Technology) Program, Purpose Learning Lab, and the Durham Colored Library. Co-creation is an approach that asks the experts—whether they be community members, scientists, local organizations, civic leaders— to be a part of developing new programs. The result is programs that are better-informed, connected, and relevant! Not only is everyone an expert in their own lived experiences, these amazing community partners have a history of exemplary work serving the Durham community. We asked our them: how can we work together to better honor and empower present and future Black excellence in STEM?

Together, we put the plan into action and the result was an amazing event, new future opportunities, and a great day with almost triple the usual number of Durham Community Day visitors! We are so grateful for all of the hard work that went into this year’s Black Excellence event, as well as the generous support of our donors, Duke Energy and M&F Bank, and all the books provided by Book Harvest to give out to visitors for free!

The event day was packed, from hands on activity tables with local scientists Kendra Settles, Dr. Christine Daniels, Dr. Alex Marshall, and the Museum’s own Leon Bradford, to experiments in The Lab with Ava the STEM Princess, the UNC Chapel Hill Chancellor’s Science Scholars, and Duke Boost Junior Coaches.

The Durham Colored Library showcased their Techies4Tomorrow online game with visitors, Dr. Terry Morris and the Vets to Vets United did service dog training demonstrations, and Purpose Learning Lab hosted experiments, a gallery exhibition, and their dance team performed step and cheer routines!

Dr. Siobahn Day Grady and Dr. Antonio Baines joined the cohort of amazing scientists who finished the day with a drop-in Q&A session, where visitors could network, chat, or do a science scavenger hunt!

Missed the event? We’re still celebrating Black excellence in science all month—and beyond! Check out the Hall of Black Excellence in the Terrace Gallery, on the Second Floor of the Museum next to The Lab, as well as around the museum. This ever-growing poster-show recognizes more incredible Black STEM professionals doing groundbreaking work right here in the Triangle!