Dr. Reagan Flowers began her education career as a high school science teacher, and has since that experience remained dedicated to her calling as a leader in academia. During her tenure at Jack Yates High School, Dr. Flowers enrolled a group of some of her students in an annual national robotics competition. Those students, of mixed performance levels on campus, had no prior robotics experience nor had they been placed in such a competitive environment. Yet despite the initial feelings of intimidation and self-doubt, the group went on to outperform anyone’s expectations. Their performance in this competition while encouraging was also a very humbling one, as Dr. Flowers for the first time experienced first-hand the stark reality of the vast academic achievement gap between her students and their peers from other schools. This experience caused her to take up the mission of closing the academic achievement gap.
In 2002, Dr. Flowers created CSTEM (Communication-Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics) Teacher & Student Support Services, Inc, the first integrated Pre K through 12th grade STEM enrichment program in the nation, in direct response to some of her best and worst experiences as an educator: classroom science teacher, guidance counselor, dean of students, and school improvement facilitator. Her years of practice as an educator, coupled with her personal experiences as an academically challenged adolescent led to the development of a theory she put into action through her doctoral research.
The distinguishing factors of Dr. Flowers’ research model include: (1) integration of communication (literacy) in STEM as a factor to ensuring student success in math and science; (2) curriculum influenced by STEM industry professionals; (3) unique framework of creating collaborative P-12 pipelines; (4) built-in supports with STEM teacher training and supplemental workshops; (5) innovative STEM instructional tools and resources provided to schools, and (6) competitive environments that support high performance and accountability for both teachers and students. Utilizing this model, Dr. Flowers has led the organization through unprecedented expansion of services and revenue growth. Since founding C-STEM Teacher and Student Support Services in 2002, the organization has grown from 20 students working out of a janitor’s closet to impacting nearly 60,000 students, and generating nearly $5 million for its programs. In her books, The CSTEM Challenge: A Feeder Pattern Approach to Reaching All Students through Hands-on Project-based Learning and CSTEM Pedagogy: Your Guide to Project-Based Learning, Dr. Flowers acknowledges the important role CSTEM has in education, its impact in the community, and in closing the achievement gap.
Dr. Reagan Flowers is a leading authority on STEM education. She has been a leader in innovation, providing educational access in the critical areas of STEM for nearly two decades. Her efforts recognize that economic development in STEM is the key to future innovations, and her approach provides solutions aimed at securing a bright future for underserved, unempowered and underrepresented children in communities across the United States. Dr. Flowers’ work has been widely acknowledged in education; she was recognized by a global committee of scholars as a WISE-Qatar finalist in 2011, and was recently named one of the nation’s top 100 Women Leaders in STEM by STEMConnector. She holds a Ph.D. from the Union Institute & University, a Masters in Arts from Prairie View A & M University of Texas, and a Bachelor of Science from Texas Southern University. Dr. Flowers’ mantra is, “The world is my Platform….Empowering Teachers and Students through STEM is my Mission.”