Project Exploration is proud to announce this month’s Partner Spotlight is Citizen Schools! David Tell, the Campus Director for Citizen Schools at Woodson Elementary, was kind enough to answer some interview questions:

  1. What can you tell us about the community you work in?

Carter G. Woodson is located in the heart of the Bronzeville Neighborhood, a once thriving predominately African American community that was once known as “Black Metropolis”. Currently still a predominately African American middle class community which is once again beginning to prosper. The school itself is almost 100% free and reduced lunch and the majority of the students live within walking distance.

  1. How would you describe your organization’s work with youth?

Citizen Schools is an organization which seeks to lessen the opportunity gap which our student’s face. We partner with low-income communities that need additional support and resources. Our program supports academic achievement in core subjects like English Language Arts and Mathematics, while building important 21st Century and Social Emotional skills through real-world learning experiences.


  1. How does partnering with Project Exploration help your organization advance your mission and/or goals?

Unfortunately one of the many opportunities that students in the areas that we target miss out on is the opportunity to explore the sciences. Through partnering with Project Exploration we are able to bring amazing scientific activities to our students. They not only are able to participate in the various sciences they are also able to learn from Female Scientist who are experts in their field of study. Project Exploration also has provided a number of field lessons where our students get hands on learning in a number of different environments.


  1. What role do you see science playing in the development of your community?

Bronzeville was once a metropolis which was thriving with African Americans who represented the top of their respective fields and I believe that in offering science to our students that they have the opportunity to explore different scientific arenas and invest their time in studying, working and perfecting their crafts. With this knowledge and skill they will be able to give back to this community and serve as role models to those that are coming up in the neighborhood and school system.


  1. Can you tell us an interesting, funny, and/or touching story about a young person (or group of young people) who is involved in our program?

At our school we have a culminating event at the end of each semester where students showcase what they’ve learned typically by re-creating an experiment/ demonstration they learned thanks to Project Exploration. For one of the semesters the STEM facilitator for Project Exploration taught the girls how to make ice cream using liquid nitrogen! This particular project blew the girls’ minds and truly inspired them to continue learning about chemistry. Most of our girls had never heard of liquid nitrogen but now to this day the girls rave to other students about liquid nitrogen.

Answers Provided  By: David Tell

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