Project Exploration Continues to Provide Student an Opportunity to Showcase Their Work

by | May 22, 2018 | Chicago Public Schools, News, Out of school time, Science, STEM, Youth-Science Pathway Programs

Project Exploration Middle School Programs

Project Exploration provided several out-of-school time middle school programs during the 2017-2018 school year. Sisters4Science our oldest and foundational program was offered at Ariel Community Academy, Carter G. Woodson Middle School, and Orozco Community Academy. Also, we were also fortunate to pilot a Brothers4Science program at Carter G. Woodson Middle School for the first time.

The students in our program were able to be exposed to many STEM topics ranging from biology, engineering, and even coding. The students were committed to the program every single week, during both Fall and Spring semesters. To know that students are gaining such experiences and taking skills they obtain into their everyday lives is very rewarding for our organization.

At the end of the Spring semester, Project Exploration has an event called Reflection of Knowledge. Reflection of Knowledge is a way that the students in our Sisters4Science and Brothers4Science programs to be recognized and given the opportunity to lead scientific presentations to family, friends, and corporate guests.

Project Exploration’s Reflection of Knowledge, Student Culminating Showcase

Project Exploration’s programs provide opportunities to celebrate students’ growth publicly. Programs conclude with a Reflection of Knowledge, a culminating event in which students showcase their leadership and presentation skills along with scientific knowledge to parents, teachers, scientists, and peers. STEM facilitators can also use the opportunity to assess their performance as students articulate the core concepts, and content knowledge students gained. Each Reflection concludes with a certificate ceremony during which each student is recognized and celebrated for their contributions.

Motorola Solutions Foundation Hosts Reflection of Knowledge 2018

The Motorola Solutions Foundation hosted this year’s  Reflection of Knowledge at their Innovation Center in downtown Chicago. When the students arrived at the Motorola Solutions Innovation Center, they were amazed that they were able to be in such a “big fancy place.” Motorola Solutions Foundation is a great partner who supports the work we do at Project Exploration including the development of a Learning Ecosystem for Chicago. With the communities we work in, our students do not have the opportunity to travel to different parts of Chicago to know what is out there for them. The reality of hearing the girls saying, when they first got off the elevator “Oh this can’t be the right floor, this is too fancy for us.” is a harsh reality in itself.

What did Project Exploration Students Learn this Year?

After enjoying pizza, guests were ushered into the Innovation Center where the students set up their poster board and experiments.  The students shared their projects, what their hypothesis was and the results of their investigations. The projects ranged from students at Woodson explaining chromatography, probability, usage of citric acid and made bath salts. Students from Ariel explained the process behind CPR.  Orozco students created experiments around the dry ice and baking soda while other students discussed what the most critical car part was. Finally, the boys from Woodson shared the process of creating a mouse trap car.

The event concluded with STEM Facilitators presenting the students with certificates of completion to show that they are appreciated, and their dedication to learning will not be taken for granted. The students enjoyed themselves from beginning to end.

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