North America is facing a growing shortage of workers with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) backgrounds; yet, despite this increasing demand for STEM skills in the labor market, the majority of students today lose interest in these subjects before they enter high school. Science from Scientists' mission is to teach and inspire the next generation to identify and solve real-world problems by improving STEM literacy. Our vision is to inspire students, ignite interest, and improve STEM competency with the goal of filling the workforce pipeline with talented, competent individuals.
Science from Scientists is a non-profit organization specializing in during-school STEM enrichment education. We were founded in 2002 to address the growing STEM worker shortage. We partner with elementary and middle schools to measurably improve student attitudes and aptitude in STEM fields. In Minnesota, we started serving the students of two schools in 2016; this year, we are supporting 15 elementary and middle schools, 70 classroom teachers, and over 2,020 students across the state. Overall, our organization's during-school program serves over 8,500 students in Massachusetts, California, and Minnesota.
A recent survey by Randstad North America found that over half of students (52%) say they don't know a single STEM professional. In our during-school program, two charismatic STEM professionals - who have interesting and rewarding careers - visit the same 3rd - 8th grade classrooms about 18 times a year. During each visit, our instructors guide the students, classroom by classroom, through hands-on STEM lessons that are aligned with state and national academic standards and chosen by teachers to complement their curricula. Students, for example, may experiment with dry ice, dissect owl pellets, create slime, build Rube Goldberg machines, design and test solutions to clean up oil spills, explore fingerprint analysis, and excavate fossils. We measure our program's effect on increasing student interest and competence in STEM fields in several ways, such as administering pre- and post-lesson quizzes, surveying teachers and students, and tracking student scores on state science assessments. On average, we see double-digit increases in student proficiency scores on state science assessments after participation in our program.
Role model scientists and fun hands-on lessons are key to our program's success. Science from Scientists' program brings discovery-based "aha" learning with role models to all students -- regardless of circumstances or means. Last year, over 70% of students in our programs indicated that they were interested in a career in STEM. As a 5th-grader from St. Paul can attest, "before Science from Scientists, I used to think science was not fun, but now I think science [can] make your mind go BOOOOOM!"
Program costs are covered by school fees and donations from corporations, foundations, and private individuals. Our hope is that our program will serve as a platform for communities across Minnesota and North America to create their own community-based STEM enrichment solutions. By providing students with a proven STEM curriculum and introducing them to inspiring STEM professionals, we help local businesses to grow their own workforce.
If you're interested in learning more about Science for Scientists or starting the program at your school, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. If your STEM work group or association would like to adopt a neighborhood school for participation in the Science from Scientists program, we can provide group and association members with classroom and other volunteer opportunities.
For nationwide information, contact:
Amanda Schutt - firstname.lastname@example.org