From his beginnings on the south side of Chicago, Justin Shaifer has come a long way. Told at a young age that his STEM interests weren’t cool, he persevered. Now, he’s a science communicator, editor, producer, and proud graduate of Hampton University’s Marine and Environmental Science program. He has given talks at the Smithsonian Museum, multiple universities, and is featured on several radio segments and podcasts for his contributions to STEM. He works to spread STEM literacy to youth, regardless of socioeconomic status.
Takeaways from our conversation:
Make learning accessible to all kids. Around 7-8th grade, Justin’s math and science grades were poor because he didn’t see how the content applied to him. He created Fascinate Sci to produce content for kids like him.
Believe in yourself. As a child, people in Justin’s neighborhood told him his interest in STEM wasn’t cool, but he pursued his interests anyway.
If you don’t see it, build it. Justin has plans on taking his show on the road with the Magic Cool Bus. A bus outfitted with science equipment, middle and high school students will have the opportunity to use the equipment so they can see themselves in STEM fields as adults.