OUR PHILOSOPHY? ASK. LISTEN. WORK HARD.
It is no secret that urban school districts are struggling. In Chicago Public Schools, about 87% of students come from low-income households. Across CPS, more than 50% of African American and Latino boys in 3rd-8th grade do not meet subject proficiency in science. And most elementary school classrooms have less than 30 minutes of science instruction a week.
We believe that scientists and research universities can make a real difference in their communities.
The Science Club approach was based on and informed by input from the community. We started by asking “How can we help?” We listened closely to what our partners at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools had to say. Both Science Club Afterschool and Science Club Summer Camp were developed in direct response.
Science Club began as an afterschool program, built to support underserved urban middle schoolers. In the original Uptown location, 100% of students at many schools are eligible for free and reduced meals and many are from minority and first-generation households. McCutcheon Elementary School, across the street from the Pedersen McCormick Boys & Girls Club, is a feeder school for many of our Science Club kids.
Science Club is a regular, weekly space where high-performing professional scientists work in small groups, building relationships and instilling confidence in young people.
Based on the program’s success, Science Club Summer Camp was developed the same small-group, mentor-led, long-term model; this time, supporting Chicago Public School teachers. A year-long science education mentorship program and practicum was designed in partnership with CPS to support 3rd-grade teachers implementing scientific inquiry and engineering design challenges under the new science curriculum.
Our Science Club programs are also generously supported by private individuals and anonymous donors.
We are grateful for lab materials, supplies and in-kind donations provided by Fisher Scientific, Becton Dickenson, and Northwestern labs.