Despite representing nearly half of the U.S. workforce, women made up only 27% of those employed in science, technology, engineering, and math in 2019 (United States Census Bureau). Among the women who have made it into this workforce, few are women of color.
To help change these statistics, Scholastic has launched Rising Voices: Books Empowering Girls in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math), a new classroom library collection that provides K–5 students and educators with culturally relevant, representative books paired with teaching materials, designed to enrich identity development, build literacy skills, and support CASEL-aligned social-emotional learning. The collection showcases female role models succeeding in STEAM fields and celebrates inspiring stories of persistence, creative problem-solving, vision, collaboration, and leadership. With the inclusion of select titles focused on the arts, Rising Voices: Books Empowering Girls in STEAM recognizes artistic pursuits for the value they bring to society and for their significance in enhancing STEM efforts.
To help amplify this mission nationwide, Scholastic has teamed up with five mentors who are powerhouses in their respective STEAM fields:
- Tatyana Ali, actress, singer, producer, writer, and humanitarian, has won five NAACP Image Awards. She frequently speaks at schools across the country, is actively involved in Black Girls Rock!, and serves as a celebrity council advocate for the March of Dimes.
- Estephanie Mosquera-Ortiz is an elementary school teacher and founder of Beaut&Beast Co., a lifestyle and education company dedicated to teaching women and children self-sufficiency and awareness.
- Ronke Olabisi, PhD, has earned degrees in mechanical, aeronautical, and biomedical engineering. Today she is an assistant professor at the UCI Biomedical Engineering department with an appointment in Biomedical Engineering and an affiliation with the Institute of Advanced Materials, Devices, and Nanotechnology.
- Oneeka Williams, MD, is a Harvard-trained urologic surgeon and an award-winning author. As a Positivity Catalyst, her vision is that all girls, especially girls of color, can be inspired to dream big through the power of story and believe that they can live a life without limits.
- Duriya Aziz, PhD, Senior Vice President and Publisher for Scholastic International, has spent almost 20 years developing curriculum programs based on Singapore mathematics pedagogical principles and practices for more than 20 countries.
The complete K–5 collection features a comprehensive teacher’s guide, access to a digital resource website, and 150 engaging, authentic texts such as The Flying Girl: How Aida de Acosta Learned to Soar by Margarita Engle; Shuri: A Black Panther Novel by Nic Stone; and Harlem’s Little Blackbird by Renée Watson.
To learn more about how to bring Rising Voices Library® into your classroom, visit: www.scholastic.com/risingvoicessteam.
Rising Voices: Books Empowering Girls in STEAM is the second collection in the Rising Voices Library series, which aims to shine a spotlight on those whose contributions and potential are often overlooked. The first collection, created with David C. Banks, President and CEO of the Eagle Academy Foundation, celebrated the stories of Black and Latino boys. You can learn more about that collection here.