Detroiters deliver science education at home in a box

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THE LAB DRAWER: Alecia Gabriel and Deirdre Roberson, co-founders of The Lab Drawer, are two native Detroiters who left Michigan to get educated in fields of science and worked their way back to Detroit. In their careers, they both often found themselves the lone women of color in their workplaces. That inspired them to start the Motor City S.T.E.A.M. Foundation in 2015, with a focus on increasing the number of Black children pursuing higher education in the fields of science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics. Within their foundation work, they created science experiment kits that they’ve now commercialized and spun out into a for-profit business, The Lab Drawer, a subscription-based science experiment and arts project box that is sent monthly by mail to middle school students. Gabriel and Roberson recently worked with Detroit TechTown’s Start Studio to refine The Lab Drawer’s business model and the company has seen growth and demand during the coronavirus pandemic. Roberson, a chemist, also owns a separate Detroit-based fashion and design business, Eumelanin (pronounced: you-mel–a-nin). Gabriel has had an extensive career in the auto industry and is currently vice president of operations for the automotive training and consulting firm Encona. …

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