Black Women in STEM, Bria Snell, Inclusive Innovation Incubator, India Skinner, Mikayla Sharrieff, NASA, News, STEM -

Black girls were winning a STEM competition, so why did NASA switch up the rules?

Black Women in STEM, Bria Snell, Inclusive Innovation Incubator, India Skinner, Mikayla Sharrieff, NASA, News, STEM -

Black girls were winning a STEM competition, so why did NASA switch up the rules?

NASA has some serious STEMsplaining to do.

Recently, three Black girls from D.C.’s Benjamin Banneker Academic High School entered the NASA Goddard‘s Optimus Prime Spinoff Promotion and Research Challenge (OPSPARC) student competition to win a trip to NASA.

Bria Snell, India Skinner and Mikayla Sharrieff’s project, which they called S3Trio H2NO to H20, aimed to create a filtration jar that will filter water continuously and detect pH imbalances to purify public school water systems.

The project was created to address issues with lead pipes in urban areas as part of work at the Inclusive Innovation Incubator.

Given how the need for clean water continues to make headlines with places like Flint, Mich., at the front of all our minds, it’s no surprise that many took to the girls’ idea and mobilized to vote for the team (which goes by the name S3) as the lead project in the competition.

READ MORE: Hidden Figures TV series in development at NatGeo

In fact, the response was so great that a day before the public vote was set to end, S3 was in the lead and a whopping 50% ahead of their closest competitors!

NASA’s response?

To allege that 4chan hackers somehow got inside the NASA website to skew the votes and then shut down the public vote a day early, citing attempts had been “made to corrupt the Public Choice voting for Grades 9-12,” and as a result they “ended this stage of voting early for that category.”

The public voting scores were also taken down and the website has now been updated to say they “have an accurate record of the voting results prior to the attempted disruption” and the “top three Public Choice teams in each category will be notified and recognized on the Challenge website.”

Mind you, none of these students broke a single rule and only personally disrupted the competition by creating a something that blew away their competitors.

As a result of these allegations, NASA GODDARD judges will just choose the first place runners based on a set of rubrics. There is no word on if (and how) this may affect S3‘s chances of winning.

READ MORE: Greene Scholars seeks to place Black youth in STEM jobs

But a GoFundMe fundraiser created to support the D.C. team called “Hidden Figures 2018” states:

“The ladies of Black Women Who Plan and Create (BWWPC) requested to put together a GoFundMe to present these three young ladies the opportunity to reach and achieve their destinies. Join us as we help these three young girls plan and execute the skills and support they need to reach for the stars and TRULY #bethespark.”

If you would like to learn more about what they presented to NASA, check out the links below.

https://edu.glogster.com/glog/opsparc-from-h2no-to-h2o-/2j7nc8e2k4l

https://technical.ly/dc/2018/04/25/dc-students-named-finalists-in-nasa-spinoff-competition/

The post Black girls were winning a STEM competition, so why did NASA switch up the rules? appeared first on theGrio.


Leave a comment

Related Posts

It’s an Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl rematch: Alcorn State vs. N.C. A&T Braves win SWAC title and and now bring their high-powered offense to bowl game
Well, it’s all set. The matchup for the Dec. 15 Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl in Atlanta is actually a rematch: ...
Read More
HBO’s ‘Say Her Name’ has few answers about what happened to Sandra Bland But new documentary gives her a voice, even in death
The mother of Sandra Bland, the Illinois woman who committed suicide in a Texas jail after being hauled there for bac...
Read More
Meghan Markle ignores negative news, believes British press out to get her
Meghan Markle has developed a way of dealing with negative press: She doesn’t read it. After a tough week in the medi...
Read More
George H.W. Bush’s Willie Horton ad remains flashpoint in dog-whistle politics
What many political historians will tell you is that Donald Trump‘s brand of politics was not created in a vacuum. An...
Read More

Tags