Black / African American
Technology, Product, Service
Youth & Education, Community Support
Business Models and Financials, Growth, Scaling, and Investments, Marketing and Communications, Product / Service Design
I’m Ricky Mason, the CEO and Founder of BrainSTEM University. It was in the 5th grade that I met a robotics engineer at a school assembly who inspired me not only to think about what I could do as an engineer but to dream big and aspire to change the world. I held that dream close to me, but I wasn’t able to realize it until I went to college. Growing up, I found community in football, though I longed for a community, a group, or a mentor in STEM. I didn't know anyone nor did I know where to find them. I wish I knew that there were other students like me that took their toys apart and tried to fix them or dreamed of making cool robots. I started BrainSTEM University to create a community for students, to inspire them to dream, create, and innovate. As an engineering professor at the University of Kentucky, I noticed students with early exposure to STEM were more prepared and more likely to stick with their STEM major. STEM education literally changed my life and BrainSTEM University will change the lives of so many others.
At BrainSTEM we’re building a kindergarten-to-career pipeline, leading young people from STEM students to STEM professionals. We inspire students to pursue STEM education by creating a vibrant, incentive-based community that connects students and gives parents, teachers, and school admins insight and feedback. Our STEM curriculum is embedded in our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), a gamified learning platform, featuring on-demand, instructor-led courses and clubs enabling schools and community organizations to expand STEM course offerings with the click of a button. All of this helps to curb the shortage in STEM educators and increases access to STEM education for parents and schools nationwide.