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In this talk, Dr. Knatokie Ford will share her journey as a Black woman in science, which led to her work on the impactful Netflix Emmy-winning children's series "Ada Twist, Scientist" that encourages children to embrace STEM subjects. ​​​​​​​

Children will be delighted to meet the real-life scientist that inspired the creation of the "Little Knatokie” character that was introduced in Season 4. This character provides young viewers with a powerful connection between the fictional world and a relatable role model that can make STEM fields more accessible and appealing.

Dr. Ford will illustrate parallels between her own life and the show’s beloved central character— an intelligent, inquisitive, and passionate young Black girl who challenges stereotypes and normalizes the presence and excellence of girls and children of color in STEM fields. In addition to helping children envision futures where they feel empowered and excited about using STEM to change the world, Dr. Ford’s speech will also highlight themes of resilience, belonging, individuality, and embracing differences.  

Dr. Ford will provide a unique opportunity for children to have an open forum for “Ask Me Anything” questions about pursuing STEM careers. These encounters can expand children's horizons, making the world of science more tangible and attainable. By meeting a real scientist, children can see that the characters they admire on screen have real-world counterparts, fostering a deeper sense of possibility and inspiration. Audiences will leave feeling compelled to dream big and pursue their passions with confidence.

From Imagination to Innovation: Inspiring Students to Build a Brighter Tomorrow

How can we not only equip our children with the skills they need, but also inspire them to envision themselves as active participants in shaping the future? Futures-thinking can be a powerful tool in our educational arsenal. By encouraging our children to imagine and explore future possibilities, we can create more engaging and inspiring learning experiences. This approach not only makes learning more dynamic but can also expand their sense of possibility of careers they may pursue.  Child development studies indicate that adolescents who engage in extensive exploration of their interests, values, and abilities tend to have a clearer sense of identity, which in turn correlates with more decisive career choices and greater career satisfaction later in life.

Dr. Ford will explore ways to harness imagination and curiosity while encouraging creativity, critical thinking, and empathy to cultivate a generation of visionary thinkers equipped to tackle tomorrow's challenges with confidence and ingenuity. 

This talk can be tailored for educators and students at various stages in all walks of life. Audiences will leave feeling inspired to empower our children to dream big and change the world. 

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