Tiffani Teachey Speaks on Black Literacy & The Benefits of Exposing Children to STEM Resources

Tiffani Teachey is an international bestselling Author, Speaker, STEM Advocate, Engineer, and founder of Thrive Edge Publishing, LLC. Also, Publishing Consultant with Inspired Authors Publishing, LLC.

Tiffani is a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Advocate who strives to educate young children and parents about the importance of STEM Careers and representation in those industries. She is the award-winning author of the children’s book, What Can I Be? STEM Careers from A to Z, available in Spanish, French, and Swahili, coloring and activity book, teacher’s guide. 

She also wrote two books aimed at uplifting and empowering women; Saving Lives While Fighting for Mine: Stories Empowering Women to Win and Pretty, Paid, and Powerful: 40 Days to Empowering the Woman Within.

Tiffani has a passion for inspiring the next generation to engage in STEM careers, she is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and enjoys traveling and being a youth mentor.

For children and young women, Tiffani Teachey is a STEM resource that strives to uplift and educate, so stakeholders can be introduced to an industry never considered before. Know that Tiffani Teachey can help you get a head start.

What gives you such great passion to learn and teach others to learn on the next level?

Tiffani: My passion to learn and teach others to learn on the next level comes from having parents that taught me the value of education, hard work, and entrepreneurship. I get excited when I know that I am making an impact in children’s lives especially. Shirley Chisholm says “If they don’t give you a seat at the table bring a folding chair.” As an engineer for over seventeen years, I want to make sure that STEM representation matters. Hence, the reason why I decided to become an author in order to shape our future generation of STEM leaders.

Tell us more about STEM and how you got connected with that space?

Tiffani: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) is a great way to help future generations find solutions and inventions. I was first introduced to the world of STEM when my parents had me and my brother taking part in a Math & Science Saturday Academy, which eventually led to me becoming a mechanical engineer myself and my brother a civil engineer! After being inspired by our experiences at the academy, I realized how much there could be done with just some logic and problem-solving skills through STEM.

What are some of the benefits for children to be exposed to STEM resources and learning options?

Tiffani: Expanding a child’s understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) can have many benefits. Not only does it help them to understand the world around them more fully but it also opens up opportunities for their future that would not otherwise exist without these skills!

The benefits of exposing children to STEM resources and learning options are immense. Not only do they provide a stepping stone for future exploration, but it also gives them an inside look at how math and science function!

How have the Science and Technology industries grown to include more professionals from the black community? And what impact do you think that access has on the culture?

Tiffani: The Science and Technology industries are gradually growing to include more professionals from the black community. It is organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) which I am a lifetime member that has helped shape that narrative. This is done through fulfilling the NSBE mission to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community. Access has a great impact on the culture alongside exposure, opportunity, and knowledge.

Tell us about the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators?

Tiffani: The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, is the only professional organization specifically for individuals who write, illustrate, and translate for children and young adults. SCBWI’s mission is to support the creation and availability of quality children’s books in every region of the world. As an author, I have enjoyed being a member of SCBWI, as I am able to grow and learn as an author with other fellow authors.

How can more parents get their children involved more with writing and creating book concepts? What are some tips you have for getting children started?

Tiffani: Children can be very creative when it comes to making up stories and writing them down. Fostering creativity among kids not only helps their self-esteem and social skills; these same qualities make future generations smarter individuals who will excel at anything they try — whether or not there was any artistic talent displayed during childhood years.

To get children started on the right path, you should take time every day or so for storytelling which will help inspire their creativity in this area as well! A great way of getting kids involved is by asking questions like “What would happen if…?” This helps encourage open discussion about different situations that may arise while also giving encouragement because we know just how much hard work goes into creating anything at all.

Tell us about your book projects? — What inspired your books and what do you hope readers pull from your stories?

Tiffani: What Can I Be? STEM Careers from A to Z children’s book is for 5–8-year-old children. It is available in Spanish, French, and Swahili, a coloring and activity book, and a teacher’s guide.

I was inspired to write What Can I Be? STEM Can from A to Z because I wanted to show more representation in STEM to the children and wanted to put it in writing. It is my hope that children will be inspired and encouraged to see themselves in these various STEM careers. These books will be able to shape our future generation of STEM leaders.

What do you think about the Black literacy space, then and now? How do you think black writers and authors are evolving and what do you think is next for the culture in that space?

Tiffani: The Black literacy space has changed a lot since it began. In particular for Black characters in children’s books and writers. There is a growing need for more children to see themselves and their cultures in books. It is important that writers and authors create a space so that people could celebrate diversity, including race or ethnicity with events like book readings from diverse authors; it’s important because without this type of exposure we’re missing out on what other perspectives look like which can lead into becoming less aware of what exists outside ones own experiences or beliefs.

As a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) children’s book author, this is prevalent as well, and there is a need for children to see the diversity and opportunities of what they can be in life even through STEM representation.

Black writers and authors are evolving, hence it’s important that we open doors early enough so all kids have access before they judge their potential based on what society tells them. This is what is needed in order to address what is next for the culture in that space.

Do you know the ratio of Black Men authors vs Black Women? — What are some things you think contribute to the ratio and do you think it will change?

Tiffani: We all have a voice in ourselves and it is our duty to show that we deserve equality. The ratio of black authors is significantly lower than any other race. It’s around 5% for both men and women, which could be due to some factors such as gender or social class which has left many people feeling voiceless.

It’s possible it could change if more diverse books were written or made into films because then those populations will represent themselves better across all genres!

Please share with us some of your favorite books, as our readers are often looking for fresh, good reads!

Tiffani: My favorite book is Becoming which is the memoir of former first lady of the United States Michelle Obama, who is inspirational and a phenomenal woman. Another book is the Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes.

What’s next for you and how can we stay connected?

Tiffani: For more information please visit the website www.TiffaniTeachey.com and/or connect on social media IG/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest @tiffaniteachey.com