Faces of FASEB

A Summer of Science

By Sheryll Poe 

This article originally appeared in Anatomy Now, the newsletter of the American Association for Anatomy, a FASEB member society. 

What’s more fun than summer camp? Learning about anatomy and science, of course.

Building African American Minds (BAAM), a Maryland organization founded in 2003 to address the low number of African American males graduating from Easton High School and moving on to higher education, recently expanded its mission to include girls.  

The eight first-grade girls who attended the inaugural BAAM Girls Program received a hands-on view of how fun and interesting science can be by interacting with a real anthropologist, Joan Richtsmeier, PhD, a distinguished professor at Pennsylvania State University.  

During “Afternoons with Dr. Joan,” the girls examined and explored human and animal skeletons. “The opportunity I saw here was to give these girls a taste of what science is at a very young level so that they are comfortable with science and comfortable with asking questions about science and to open their eyes to possibilities at a very young age,” said Richtsmeier. 

“I didn't know what anthropology was until I was in college, and I was afraid of science and math until I had some really good teachers,” Richtsmeier mused. “I want these girls to not be afraid and to find their passion early, whether it be in STEMM or in the arts.” 

Joan Richtsmeier, PhD, is a member of the American Association for Anatomy, a FASEB member society.