What do you get when you cross hip hop, YouTube, and science education? You get my guest today, Maynard Okereke. Maynard is a science communicator best known as the Hip Hop M.D for making science fun for kids – and getting them involved in S.T.E.M. fields.
Today Maynard shares his story about how he got from civil engineering to being the Hip Hop MD – and we share the crazy story of how we met more than a decade ago! He talks about what it’s like to work with young people and teachers to spark curiosity and foster passion – and how those lessons can help your organization better connect with young people and attract them with a more innovative, diverse workplace. He shares how important it is to make topics fun and relatable to both kids and adults – great advice for all you team leaders and marketers out there.
We dive into why innovation, especially in tech, requires play and imagination, and how we can break science’s norms and stereotypes to not only encourage young people to pursue STEM fields, but encourage their natural curiosity – and hopefully spark that in adults as well.
- If kids can’t see it, they can’t be it. Be who you are authentically and share your knowledge and information. Who knows who you will touch when you do?
- People need to own the work that they do. They need to understand the purpose, the passion, and the vision in it.
- If you aren’t around people with different backgrounds and who look different than you, you will have one perspective and have a harder time connecting with those around you as you are stuck in your own perspective.
- Stay curious. You’re never too old to explore something new. Curiosity is the number one trait of empathetic people (and it will bring you inspiration and excitement)!
“We know that diversity is where it’s at – in order to bring new innovations to the table, to bring new life. Technology is driven by diversity.” — Maynard Okereke
About Maynard Okereke: Hip Hop M.D., Science Communicator
Maynard Okereke, better known as the Hip Hop M.D., graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Civil Engineering. He is an award winning Science Communicator, having received both the Asteroid Award for “Best Streaming Content” and the People of Change Award for his community outreach efforts. His passion for science and entertainment, along with his curiosity for new innovation has taken him through an incredible life journey.
Noticing a lack of minority involvement in the S.T.E.M. fields, he created Hip Hop Science with the goal of encouraging minorities and youth to pursue more advanced career paths. His background in engineering, acting, business, and credible work within the music industry as an artist, make him uniquely qualified to engage on a wide variety of topics from an entertaining perspective. This is highly reflected in his weekly vlogs and daily social media posts which provide both humorous and informative #SciComm content.
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