Newark Public Schools Hosts Panel Discussion and Screening of Hit Film Hidden Figures to Inspire Newark’s High School-Aged Young Women to Pursue Jobs in STEM Fields

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Superintendent Chris Cerf speaks with Newark’s high school-aged young women to encourage them to pursue a career in STEM.
Superintendent Chris Cerf speaks with Newark’s high school-aged young women to encourage them to pursue a career in STEM.
[Newark, NJ – January 24, 2017] – Newark Public Schools (NPS) hosted a special event at CityPlex12 in Newark yesterday with 300 high school-aged young women to encourage them to pursue a career in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.  The event began with a screening of the recently released hit film, Hidden Figures, which profiles three inspiring African American women at NASA who became trailblazers in their fields.  The film was followed by a panel discussion focused on the role of women in STEM in college and careers.

“Newark Public Schools assembled an impressive group of women who are leaders in their fields to inspire Newark’s talented young women to consider pursuing a career in STEM,” said Superintendent Christopher D. Cerf of NPS. “There are incredible opportunities for women to make a difference in the STEM fields, and Newark Public Schools is committed to helping all of our students pursue their academic and career goals.”

Panelists (listed below) speak with Newark’s high school-aged young women about their career experiences.
Panelists (listed below) speak with Newark’s high school-aged young women about their career experiences.

The invited guests and panelists included local community leaders and women working in STEM fields such as: State Senator M. Teresa Ruiz, Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor-Marin, Council President Mildred Crump, Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield-Jenkins, School Business Administrator Valerie Wilson, Science Special Assistant Ivory Williams, Mathematics Special Assistant Babita Kukreja,Tamara Waye of Goldman Sachs, CEO of Usable Tech Lindsey Holmes, Jessica Chamoun of PSE&G, Adah Steward of PSE&G and Melissa Jackson of Rutgers Business School.

Superintendent Cerf spoke with students about their future roles in the STEM fields. Panelists discussed the critical role women play in STEM fields and the difference receiving a higher education has on pursuing future career opportunities.

“I would like to thank the Newark Public Schools district for supporting this trip to the CityPlex12 Theater to see Hidden Figures,” said Laura Dawn Gould, an NPS Student Advisory Board Member. “The issues discussed in the film, including overcoming sexism in STEM fields and racism in the workplace, are relevant everywhere. But there is no place I can think of that they’d make more of an impact than here in Newark, where our district serves an extremely diverse population of women of color.”