Project Exploration’s Biomedical Engineering Program is Supporting Youth In Getting Closer to Their Dreams

My goals are to go to college and pursue my dream of being a NICU Nurse at Lurie Children’s Hospital.

—Brittany, PE Student 

Meet Maria Fernanda Avila, STEAMbassador

Maria started working with Project of Exploration at the beginning of the pandemic. 

For her, STEAM was a great opportunity for her to start in the field of education and to teach minority students. Her favorite part of being a STEAMbassador is that she has the opportunity to help the community by becoming a mentor to amazing young people.

Students need teachers and mentors, like Maria, who are reflective of them in terms of demographics and experiences. Young people are more likely to develop interesting in, pursue, and persist at opportunities, including those in STEM, wherein they see mentors who reflect them also demonstrate passion, expertise, and commitment. You can support PE’s efforts to build a reflective STEM workforce. 


PE Values Partnerships

PE’s Biomedical Engineering program at Heffernan Elementary School was made possible in partnership with Habilitative Systems, Inc. (HSI)

Through PE’s medical sciences pathway programs, students learn about safety, infection control, CPR and first aid, human growth and development, how to take vital signs, nutrition and wellness, geriatric care, and more!

As with all programs, students also develop a better understanding of the scientific inquiry and engineering design processes, which includes teaching processes and data gathering skills. 


Our Board Members Add Value & Foster Partnerships

Meet Deborah Williams-Thurmond
Board Vice Chair, Project Exploration
Community Outreach & Engagement Specialist,
Habilitative Systems, Inc.

Deborah Williams-Thurmond is a lifelong resident of the Chicago, Austin community area. Deborah won’t let anything stand in her way of helping others and supporting causes that she’s passionate about. Deborah is incredibly dedicated to Project Exploration (PE), and serves in many capacities on the Greater Westside of Chicago, supporting the increase of human capital, as well as the forward movement of several initiatives.

We are excited and proud to have her as a lead supporter, connector, and Vice Chair of PE’s Board, as she has been a  strong advocate for PE on the westside and supported us in leveraging an opportunity to expand our reach to Hefferan Elementary. As a result, this spring, PE’s Biomedical Engineering pathway, delivered through our MiniMed program, will be delivered to Hefferan/HSI students. Students will be provided with materials for hands-on learning on- and off-site (by mailing supplies).

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