Black Students Shine At Greene Scholar Programs Science Fair In California

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The Dr. Frank S. Greene Scholars Program dedicates its focus on preparing and challenging students in fields of science, technology, engineering and math, also know as the STEM fields. Now in its 12th year, the Greene Scholar Programs (GSP) Science Fair, held this past weekend in San Jose, Calif., has been one of the most-dynamic events focusing on the excellence of African-American students in the Bay Area.

The San Jose Mercury News reported on the event, and spoke with several of the young participants, ranging from grades from third to 12th. One sixth-grader’s science presentation was rather impressive given his young age, and the 11-year-old raised a fine question with his experiment regarding the Tesla Motors electric car.

“As a car guy, I wondered if this small change would alter the aerodynamics of the car,” said Ayinde Olukotun, who attends Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School in Palo Alto.

Olukotun’s experiment studied the effect of the electric car manufacturers’ decision to raise the body of the Model S version of the vehicle after some reported battery fires. Olukotun compared the energy efficiency of model cars of different shapes and sizes, although he notes Tesla did the right thing in addressing the issue while possibly raising another. He says he “might e-mail” Tesla concerning his finds.

Program Director Gloria Whitaker-Daniels, who began at Dr. Frank S. Greene Scholars Program as a parent volunteer in 2001, has been directing the program for the last five years. With the South Bay area’s lower number of African-American residents, Ms. Whitaker-Daniels boasts that 100 percent of its students enter college and that 90 percent of them graduate.

More than 40 percent of GSP participants major in STEM fields, which reportedly is five times the national average for Black students.

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