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Wilson Museum One Small Step for Minority Explorers

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A group of students gather around a computer to learn about science
WILSON — One museum display may sound like just a bunch of noise, but it's actuallyan experiment on how sounds are formed. Observing is a class just gettingstarted on a series of lessons-- ones teachers hope will have long-termresults.

Program Director Crystal Harden believes this is the first time east ofRaleigh that there's been an attempt to motivate minorities about scienceand scientific careers.

For Justin Woodard, it's a way to experiment with an interest he's hadfor years. Justin remembers reading about dinosaurs when he wasyounger. It was then his mother told him what he enjoyed was science.From there, Justin took interest in other science books like astronomy.

Twenty-two middle school students are covering everything from geneticsto space travel. Lafan Forbes and more than a dozen businesses andchurches are helping to pay the bill. The way Forbes sees it, the kidsaren't the only ones who benefit.

As a parent, Forbes has heard from his son that summer is boring. Hehopes the program will take some other children off the streets and givethem something worthwhile to do.

Kesha Hodge is among the students enjoying science. She says for minoritystudents, there are not a lot of places to go. A trip to the museum cameas a much welcome change.

It's a change organizers believe will lead more minority students to thebig discoveries of the future. Many of the students are looking forwardto Thursday's lesson. They're planning to spend the day studying theplanet Mars.

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