Mwenda KudumuBiggs

Mwenda kudumubiggs phd in the worst case scenario exhibit which will be at the fleet until september

Elevating Community Voices at the Fleet Science Center

Mwenda KudumuBiggs, the Fleet Science Center’s vice president for community service and engagement, fell in love with science while growing up in the Valencia Park and Lincoln Park neighborhoods of Southeastern San Diego.

“My passion for science was encouraged and nurtured at the Elementary Institute of Science (EIS), where I participated in programs supported by The Salk Institute, the National Society of Black Engineers, and the University of California San Diego Scripps Institute of Oceanography,” Dr. KudumuBiggs shared with GB Magazine.

Dr. KudumuBiggs earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Stanford University and was a fisheries biologist and wildlife manager before changing careers to dedicate herself to broadening the participation of underrepresented voices in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

After designing and implementing programming in museums across California, New York and North Carolina for over a decade, she was inspired to move to Ghana, where she spent eight years developing a science and technology center at the University of Cape Coast.

“When I worked in science centers in the United States, I noticed that there were not a lot of Black and Brown people,” KudumuBiggs said. “We all need Black and Brown voices to be a part of science. I want to popularize science in these communities to help people recognize that science is something that they already do and want to engage with.”

With over 18 years of experience working in science centers and a master’s degree and doctorate in science education from North Carolina State University, Dr. KudumuBiggs is excited to give back to her hometown.

“The Fleet Science Center had an impact on me as a young person as it did for many San Diegans,” she recalls. “And I have been impressed watching the Fleet grow into a countywide organization leading the industry in community-centered work.”

Dr. KudumuBiggs oversees the Fleet’s exhibits and education departments and leads efforts to connect with communities in the Fleet’s flagship space in Balboa Park and in neighborhoods throughout the county.

“Mwenda has a passion for culturally relevant education in informal science settings,” added Chris LaZich, the Fleet’s vice president for advancement. “She brings deep insight and experience to the Fleet, and we are thrilled she has joined the team.”

The Fleet Science Center’s mission is to connect everyone to the power of science.

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Esteban Villanueva