Local News

Wilson Museum One Small Step for Minority Explorers

Posted July 8, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— One museum display may sound like just a bunch of noise, but it's actually an experiment on how sounds are formed. Observing is a class just getting started on a series of lessons-- ones teachers hope will have long-term results.

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

For Justin Woodard, it's a way to experiment with an interest he's had for years. Justin remembers reading about dinosaurs when he was younger. 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 genetics to space travel. Lafan Forbes and more than a dozen businesses and churches are helping to pay the bill. The way Forbes sees it, the kids aren't the only ones who benefit.

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

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

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