Syda Segovia Taylor, Director of Programs and Community Relations, shares a snapshot of programs starting this month. 

Project Exploration is off to a rollicking start in the new school year, working with our youth, STEM facilitators, and community partners to offer afterschool programs around the city. In addition to perennial favorite Sisters4Science, PE programs this fall include Explore Engineering:goIT, Brothers4Science, and Science Giants.

We are thrilled our partnership with The Resurrection Project (TRP) has been “resurrected,” thanks to their newly appointed Director of Partnerships and Education, Luis Bermudez. (Read a short interview with Luis here.) This year we are working together on long-term planning to build a STEM pathway for youth in Pilsen, similar to our relationship with Funston and Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA). Our efforts will begin with Sisters4Science and TRP’s Elev8 Initiative at Orozco Academy, with DePaul sophomore student and newest PE team member, Vanessa Rivera. Our previous programs with TRP include S4S at Finkl, and Explore Technology: GoIT with Tata Consultancy Services at the Boys & Girls Club:Club One.

Citizen Schools, PE’s Bronzeville partner, is hosting S4S at Woodson North Elementary for a second year. The program fits perfectly with their apprenticeship model, in which middle school students engage in hands-on learning and are exposed to new learning experiences and opportunities. The term ends with “WOW” (a twin to PE’s Reflection of Knowledge) where youth share what they’ve learned with families, teachers, public officials, community members, and business leaders. PE’s seasoned STEM Facilitator, Nedum Aniemeka, will be teaching youth at Woodson North and Ariel Academy. (Read a short conversation with Nedum here!)

Our wildly successful partnership with LSNA at Funston Elementary expands this year with three afterschool programs. In order to satisfy the youths’ hungry appetite for STEM programs, PE is offering S4S, Explore Engineering:goIT, and the reboot of Brothers4Science. (Read about that here.) STEM Facilitators are Carlos Mantallana and Eugenia Ruiz. (Watch Eugenia’s “15 for 15” interview here.)

In addition to the middle school programs, PE has a high school programs that will engage teens with real world experience.

Last, but definitely not least, PE is thrilled to revive our treasured program, Science Giants, with support from the nationally recognized organization, After School Matters (ASM).  This past summer, high school interns were able to develop a 20-week curriculum for youth docents at the Garfield Park Conservatory.  This fall, PE is continuing to partner with ASM to host apprentices at Al Raby High School who will be trained using the curriculum to serve as guides in any Chicago conservatory. To lead the efforts of Science Giants, Meghan Bagley joined PE’s team as a new STEM Facilitator for the school year and beyond!

We’re looking forward to reconnecting with returning youth and welcoming new friends into the fold!



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