STEM Enrichment- Supporting Budding Scientists of Color

Program Contact

Karen Bailey


The Robert F. Smith STEAM Academy is a new (Fall 2021) high school in the Montbello area of Denver. Based on the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) model, the goal of this academy is to provide a robust foundation in science, math, technology, engineering, and art with a focus on students of color. At the end of the school day on M/W/F, all students participate in an enrichment class led by organizations from the Denver community. Each session is eight weeks long, with roughly (depending on the school calendar) 24 class sessions.

As a member of the leadership team of 500 Women Scientists, CU Boulder’s Sustainability Innovation Lab sponsored an enrichment program in Fall 2021 themed “Scientists of Color.” Each week, two days were devoted to each of eight scientists. On the first day, the students created a biography of the scientist by looking up multiple information sources online and answering specific questions. The questions included some relevant to the school’s themes, such as being a visionary and a leader. On the second day, the students participated in a science activity connected to the scientist’s research. For example, for the geneticist Georgia M. Dunston, the students made a candy model of DNA.

Scientists of Color will be offered again in Fall 2022. The goal of the “Scientists of Color” Enrichment is three-fold. First, the students will reinforce their knowledge of and exposure to scientists from underrepresented backgrounds, their pathways, and their legacies. Second, students will obtain immersive, hands-on experiences that strengthen their understanding of foundational science concepts in creative and novel ways. Finally, mentors in the program will include members of the CU community (particularly graduate students) and of 500 Women Scientists, providing them with opportunities to strengthen their outreach skills and learn more about equity and inclusion in STEAM fields.

  • Scientists of Color Enrichment Program


    in colorado




    Public or Private

    Private Program (by request only or for a specific audience or group)

    Program Fee

    Not Applicable

Sponsoring Units

  • College of Arts & Sciences

  • Environmental Studies Program

Program Partners

  • 500 Women Scientists
  • Robert F. Smith STEAM Academy
  • Other CU Boulder

Audiences Served

  • Historically Excluded/Marginalized/Non-dominant Group(s)
  • People Of Color
  • People Who Identify As Women, Girls, and/or Females
  • Socioeconomically Disadvantaged
  • Students - High School
  • Urban Communities