Using Hip-Hop to Attract Black Students to the Chemical Sciences

Sibrina N. Collins, an assistant professor of chemistry at the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, is the lead author of paper published in the journal The Chemical Educator, that discusses the use of hip-hop to attract Black and other minority students to the field of chemistry. Targeting students at a high school in Cleveland and those attending a summer academy at Ohio State University, the authors presented a Powerpoint presentation that used hip hop as a vehicle to discuss chemistry concepts such as hydrogen-bonding, periodic table trends, and minority contributions to the chemical sciences. Students were surveyed before and after participating in the Powerpoint presentation.

Dr. Collins and her coauthors concluded that “using culturally relevant concepts from hip hop can be useful when discussing chemistry concepts” and that the “strategy may be effective in attracting minority students to the chemical sciences.”

Dr. Collins is a graduate of Wayne State University. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Ohio State University. She conducted postdoctoral research at Louisiana State University.

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