Mathematics Awareness Week 1996

The Changing Face of Science in America

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Breakthrough: The Changing Face of Science in America

"If I knew about half the information Breakthrough has pulled together, I would have been much more prepared, and getting to MIT would have been far less stressful. At least now, I can help make my little brother's trip to college a lot easier." -- Anthony DeWayne Stewart, MIT senior and Big Brother/Little Brother mentor

The Television Series
Imagine a scientist. What comes to mind? Is it a man in a white coat, working in a laboratory? Is it a female astrophysicist who is discovering the latest knowledge about dying stars? Is it a person working alone in a room full of tubes and bubbling fluids? Could a scientist be someone like you?

Breakthrough: The Changing Face of Science in America is a new television series that profiles twenty contemporary African American, Latino, and Native American scientists who represent a broad spectrum of experience, scientific pursuits, and future goals. They have one thing in common: None of them matches the stereotype of who a scientist is or what a scientist does. From a coral reef off Puerto Rico to the desert of New Mexico, from distant starts to blue laser beams, these individuals bring a sense of wonder, excitement, and dedication to science that will inspire parents, teachers, and students alike.

Premiering April 8, 1996 from 9pm to 11pm ET, and continuing April 15 and April 22 on PBS (check local listing)

On the Phone
Beginning March 11, 1996, when students, teachers, and parents call 1-800-BIG BREAK, they will receive, by mail or fax, six pages of local science education resources in English and Spanish (selected areas).

On the Radio
The Hispanic Radio Network and the Self Reliance Foundation, in partnership with Blackside, are producing a sixteen-part radio series featuring personal interviews, in Spanish, with Breakthrough'S Latino scientists. The series airs nationally and throughout Puerto Rico, beginning April 1, 1996 (check local listings).

In the Community
Public television stations, churches, community-based organizations, universities, school systems, libraries, and science museums have formed Breakthrough coalitions to strengthen local science education efforts. Premiere events and other dissemination activities are being developed in each city.

After the Broadcast
Breakthrough will reach directly into the classroom with a science Career Exploration Kit for middle school students and teachers, and a comprehensive CD-ROM featuring scientists from the series, financial aid information, college profiles, and a basic dictionary of science terms.

Contact Information
For more information, connect to, or contact
Jass Stewart (
Joseph Gerena (
Blackside, Inc.
486 Shawmut Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
617-536-1732 Fax
Produced by Blackside, Inc.

National and local information on science education programs and resources at 1-800-BIG BREAK

Major funding provided by Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Additional funding provided by National Science Foundation and Intel Foundation

Mathematics Awareness Month is sponsored each year by the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics to recognize the importance of mathematics through written materials and an accompanying poster that highlight mathematical developments and applications in a particular area.