STEM Women of Color program Thursday

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Sallie B. Howard School for the Arts and Education will host the final stop on the “Hidden No More: STEM Women of Color Tour” on Thursday.

The program is sponsored by The Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a North Carolina Space Grant.

Four women will share their life experiences as leaders in their scientific fields and the importance of education in science, technology, engineering and math.

According to the planetarium website, women of color have historically faced challenges then it cam to STEM careers.

The speakers include Ann Vaughan Hammond and Peggy Vaughan, daughter and daughter-in-law of Dorothy Vaughan, who was Langley Research Center’s first African American manager; and Dr. Stephani Page, molecular physiologist at Duke Molecular Physiology Institute.

The women will be part of a panel discussion on expanding diversity in STEM education with Crystal Harden, of Morehead Planetarium, serving as moderator. Harden is a former science teacher for Wilson County Schools.

She is one of three African American science teachers to be hired at Beddingfield High School by the school’s then principal, Ralph Sessoms. Sessoms, the first African American superintendent of Wilson County Schools, will be honored as part of Thursday evening’s festivities.

A reception for the event will be held at 5 p.m., and the program will begin at 6 p.m. Admission is free.