To encourage and higher talk with younger, underrepresented college students about science, Raven Baxter turned to a childhood pastime: creating rap music.
By marrying STEM training with hip hop, Baxter, a doctoral pupil within the Graduate College of Training, has added “queen of science rap” to her many titles, which embrace biology professor and a loyal champion for range in STEM.
Higher often called Raven the Science Maven, Baxter has created quite a few songs and music movies ─ that includes intelligent science-themed wordplay and self-produced beats ─ on subjects that vary from serving as an empowerment anthem for girls in STEM to encouraging cleanliness in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Baxter’s fun-filled outreach efforts have gained the eye of media nationwide, in addition to the town of Buffalo, which has tapped her to host a collection of social media takeovers on Mayor Byron Brown’s Instagram account – @mayorbyronbrown716 – as a part of the BuffaloPAUSE program.
BuffaloPAUSE is an eight-week digital problem to interact Buffalo teenagers whereas encouraging them to remain residence and observe social distancing. Every week options challenges and Amazon reward card prizes.
Starting on Might four throughout Trainer Appreciation Week and persevering with via June eight, Baxter is taking on Brown’s Instagram account every Monday, performing reside science experiments utilizing on a regular basis home goods and inspiring teenagers to share movies of themselves repeating and explaining her steps for potential prizes. The experiments may even be featured on Baxter’s Instagram account, @raventhesciencemaven.
“I imagine that the important thing to closing gaps in each well being disparities and STEM fields lies in culturally responsive science communication,” says Baxter, who can be director of collegiate stem initiatives at Well being Sciences Constitution College in Buffalo.
“As a proud Buffalo native, I’m excited to associate with the town of Buffalo on BuffaloPAUSE to encourage our teenagers to interact in socially accountable conduct, whereas offering a relatable and diversified illustration of science to our communities in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and for the years to come back.”
Previous to changing into a STEM educator, Baxter labored as a company most cancers analysis scientist within the pharmaceutical trade. However after studying that the one different African People working at her workplace had been safety guards and custodians, she determined to shift her profession towards pushing extra individuals of coloration towards STEM fields.
Baxter took a place at Erie Group School as a biology professor and instantly discovered the work rewarding.
“From that time on, I made a decision that I wished to be a scientist locally, speaking science and amplifying underrepresented voices in STEM,” says Baxter, who now teaches biology at Buffalo State School. “Analysis exhibits that studying outcomes are higher when the scholar can relate to the trainer. I may also help shut the gaps by offering extra illustration to newer generations who need to pursue STEM.”
Baxter created that reference to the neighborhood via music. At UB, she’s finding out its effectiveness.
A 2019-20 Arthur A. Schomburg Fellow within the Graduate College of Training, Baxter is researching culturally responsive instructing methods in STEM training, significantly via hip hop music. Her dissertation focuses on the results of media illustration on black ladies in science.
Based on her analysis, 98% of black ladies ─ each in and out of doors STEM fields ─ don’t determine with the frequent portrayal of a scientist as a geeky white male. She’s additionally analyzing how her music impacts the way in which these ladies determine with science.
Baxter will quickly have extra materials to check her theories. She’s going to launch a brand new album, “The Protocol,” on Might 30. The album blends rap, tropical and home music with a lyrical narrative of how she discovered her id in STEM.
“The album will enhance science tradition by empowering individuals to be their unapologetic selves,” says Baxter. “Rather a lot about science tradition wants to vary. There’s a feeling that minorities can’t be their genuine selves and have to adapt to science tradition, which is the dominant tradition as a result of STEM fields aren’t various.”
The album, says Baxter, might be obtainable on all main music-streaming platforms. She has already obtained a whole bunch of pre-orders.
For extra details about Baxter, her music or her work because the founding father of STEMbassy, a science advocacy group targeted on STEM within the context of politics, tradition and social points, go to her web site, scimaven.com.