Science-based careers are expected to continue growing and paying top salaries. Unfortunately, many Black students are not on track to qualify for those job opportunities.

A group of researchers believe they’ve discovered why Black students tend to lag behind their White peers in science.

The study says the achievement gap begins in kindergarten, when children from higher income families enter school already having general knowledge about science, reports the American Educational Research Association.

“If you enter kindergarten with very little knowledge about the natural and social world, you are likely to be struggling in science by third grade, and you are then likely to still be struggling in science by eighth grade,” Pennsylvania State University Professor Paul L. Morgan, one of the researchers, said in a statement.

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