North Dakota’s hands-on science center, Gateway to Science, found a way to celebrate and honor African American STEM leaders during Black History Month.

The center’s Black History Month display was created as an opportunity to recognize the contributions African American scientists and engineers have made in the STEM field.

Gateway to Science Program Director Janet Rosario says when students are taught about history, a lot of Black STEM leaders are not mentioned or are ignored.

It’s necessary for children to know the work that these leaders have done, which has led to game-changing discoveries and inventions, she added.

“Even though we’re in North Dakota and most of the population is not diverse, we do have students of color that participate in all of our programs and visit our gallery. It is very important for them to see STEM professionals like them, who have pursued these careers, to show them they can do it as well. And myself, I am Hispanic so I am a role model for Hispanic students and students of color that we can pursue STEM careers,” said Rosario.

Rosario also says she keeps a poster gallery in the program classroom year-round showing diversity through gender and race.

Students also get the chance to meet STEM professionals of all races throughout the year.