STEM IS OUR HISTORY Program/Competition Instructions


My name is Niasia Williams and I am serving as your Technical OutReach and Community Help (TORCH) Chairperson for Region 1 for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). TORCH is the program designated by NSBE to deal with the education of our community on both technical and STEM subjects, community service of all types, and positive cultural engagement. This year’s theme is “Make STEM Relatable”. In keeping with that theme it is my pleasure to introduce the original program “STEM IS OUR HISTORY” for Black History Month 2015.

Why is this important? We in NSBE often repeat the mission of the organization "to increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community“. We in the Black community often push for education, success, and for each generation to be better than the last. Yet how do we achieve this when our community has been subconsciously separated from the things that the wider community often attributes to success? In this important year, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, it is time for us to build that connection once again. It is my hope that re-connecting, in our particular case Black history, into the time line of STEM progress, will push our community/youth into a sense of importance, potential and value. It is through these connections being made that we can raise a level of consciousness among our people which will allow for us to expect more from our youth, especially in STEM, because they will realize that they are the legacy of African American excellence.

“STEM IS OUR HISTORY” is a program designed to encourage the research of the African American history in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (a subject that is often not part of our educational curriculum), expose the community to interesting facts in African American STEM history, and encourage the use of the expressive arts as evidence of a productive educational experiences.

Groups that are to participate will register online and pick a topic based on African American STEM History. Throughout the month of February students will conduct research on their topic. Some topics will be covered in a webinar series that will be based on popular demand. At the end of the month each group will submit a project based in the expressive arts such as a painting, drawing, poem, replica, dance ect. Projects will then be transported to local hosts that will display the projects for other community members to see.

Each group project, unless opted out, will then be entered into a contest in which groups will win awards based on area/zone. Zone winners will continue onto a second round where 2 awards will be given along with a $350 prize and recognition at the National Convention of the National Society of Black Engineers in March of 2015.

Thanks in advance to all participants! I look forward to seeing our community being educated about our history and to see all of the talent that will come in the forms that the community sees fit.

For more information about the program please refer to the regional website TORCH page and/or email


Niasia Williams
2014-2015 Technical Outreach and Community Help Chairperson
Region 1 Executive Board
National Society of Black Engineers