A former Survivor castaway has a cool new venture — a new YouTube video series called “STEM Queens,” which Dr. J’Tia Hart is gearing toward young Black women interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).
Here’s what you need to know.
The Goal is to Showcase Black Women in the STEM Fields
Hart’s goal with “STEM Queens” is to inspire young Black women to go into STEM fields by “showcasing the range and excellence of Black women in STEM,” reads the press release.
“Social media is the best way to connect with aspiring Gen Zers. Launching this platform allows me to engage on a very direct and personal level with an audience that is hungry for representation and eager to learn,” said Hart in a statement. “The launch of this channel only strengthens our ability to provide the greatest level of education, resource, and entertainment to young Black females on all media platforms.”
Each episode will showcase a Black woman who is a professional in one of the STEM fields. The guests for season one inlude Fig O’Reilly, a former Miss Universe Ireland and a NASA data scientist; Tasha Fox, a fellow Survivor alum who is an accountant; Nancy Douyon, a design ethicist and human factors engineer; and Septembre Anderson, a former fashion journalist who is a front end developer.
New episodes debut every Tuesday on the STEM Queens YouTube channel.
Hart is a Nuclear Engineer Who Went to College at Age 15
Hart, who competed on season 28, Survivor: Cagayan, is a nuclear engineer who started college at Florida State University when she was just 15 years old. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from FSU, then a Master’s and doctoral degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Hart currently resides in Chicago, Illinois, with her husband and two children, a 5-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son.
She recently spoke with E! Online about how she was disturbed by the way Survivor portrayed her, beginning with the pre-premiere preview for Entertainment Weekly where host Jeff Probst took a dig at her, saying, “’m not sure anyone’s gonna feel too comfortable about our future knowing that J’Tia is a nuclear engineer,” says Probst. “Because she gets out there and immediately wants to take over in building a shelter and runs into problems right away.”
“I never thought I would be portrayed the way I saw myself on TV because that’s not the way I see myself,” Hart told E!. “I don’t think that I am mentally ill, in any way, shape or form and I don’t think I’m, like, incompetent.”
She also told E! that part of “STEM Queens” is using her platform to make things better for her children and everyone’s children.
“That is what motivates me to put myself out there. I feel like this is something I can do for good. Putting myself out there is part of my superpower. If I can do that for the next generation, that will make me so happy,” said Hart.
Hart was also instrumental in bringing about CBS’ new diversity and inclusion initiative, which aims to have at least 50 percent of its reality show casts be made up of BIPOC (Black, indigenous, people of color) contestants.