Video: Grand Hank’s Hip-Hop Science Shows
Matthew Greenwood posted on July 10, 2018 |
Scientist educator uses high-energy edutainment performances to teach STEM fundamentals to underrepr...

Grand Hank, scientist, educator and entertainer, spoke with at the USA Science and Engineering Festival about inspiring young people to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

Hank’s shows, which combine hip hop, science and lectures, were borne from his experience as an inner-city African-American kid trying to pursue a science career. When failing at chemistry in college, he asked for help from his teacher, who he was convinced didn’t like him—and was surprised when he agreed to become his tutor and mentor.

Hank wants to teach science fundamentals to students in a way that is inspiring, encouraging and entertaining—showing them that “it is difficult, it is challenging, but it is very doable and very rewarding,” he said.

Grand Hank talks about his journey from the housing projects to a career in science and his passion for educating kids like himself about STEM subjects.

Hank is passionately curious about seeing how someone who has never been exposed to science, nor shown interest in science, can become inspired by it—and trying to understand how to ignite that spark of interest.

He sees how inner-city kids believe it’s impossible to be a scientist and he wants to change them from “thinking of science as something that is out of reach … something we just don’t to, to [believing] ‘I can do this.’” He was the only African-American in his classroom and found students wouldn’t work with him; he is doing his part to make the field more inclusive.

Grand Hank answers questions about his passion for science and how to encourage underrepresented students to pursue science.

Grand Hank’s next project is a 25-city mega-tour that will bring massive audiences together to learn about the beauty of science. He thinks it could create a critical mass of interest and excitement about STEM. “If I see my peer doing it, I want to do it—just like in the rap concerts, where one person sings and everybody is singing.”

Read more about Grand Hank’s edutainment initiatives at his website.

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