Since 1999, Project Exploration (PE) has worked to change the face of STEM. With equity at our core, we serve youth from communities historically underrepresented in the STEM fields, and work to remove barriers that prevent black, brown, and low-income youth and young women from accessing, demanding, and pursuing STEM opportunities. To achieve this mission, PE leads high-quality STEM programs at its STEM Learning Centers at George Leland Elementary School and Bethel New Life, virtually via [email protected], and at partnering school locations. 

 

School partners for the 2022 Spring semester include:

Plato Learning Academy

Plato Learning Academy joined the PE family in 2020, and quickly scaled up programs from serving just 6-8th grade students to the entire student body. Plato is located in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood, and demographics of the student body include:

  • Low-Income students – 100%
  • Chronic Absenteeism – 37%
  • Students with individual education plans (IEP) – 7%

Programs offered at Plato in Spring 2022 include:

  • Building Block Club (K-2) – astronomy and life science
  • STEMQuest (3-5) – computer science and engineering
  • STEMQuest (6-8) – computer science and engineering

Lawndale Community Academy (LCA)

Project Exploration was proud to have joined forces with LCA in 2020 when a school counselor who had been familiar with PE at his previous school wanted to ensure students at Lawndale could also benefit from high-quality STEM Programs! LCA is located in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood, and demographics of the student body include:

  • Low-Income students – 99.5%
  • Chronic Absenteeism – 61%
  • Students with IEPs – 18%

Programs offered at LCA in Spring 2022 include:

  • STEMQuest (3rd) – computer science and medical science
  • STEMQuest (4th) – computer science and medical science
  • STEMQuest (5th) – computer science and medical science
  • STEMQuest (6th) – computer science and engineering
  • STEMQuest (7th) – computer science and engineering
  • STEMQuest (8th) – computer science and engineering

Hefferan Elementary School

PE established a partnership with Hefferan in 2021 to provide medical science programs, and is excited to continue to partner to provide STEM family nights with world-recognized partners, STEM pop-ups, and professional development in STEM for their teachers. Hefferan is located in Chicago’s Austin community and demographics of the student body include: 

  • Low-Income students – 97.6%
  • Chronic Absenteeism – 42%
  • Students with IEPs – 10%

Programs offered at Hefferan in the Spring 2022 semester include:

  • Medical Sciences Program (6th-8th grade) – biomedical engineering

Holy Family School

Neighboring PE’s West Side STEM Learning Center, PE first partnered with PE in 2019 to enrich their students’ learning with high-quality STEM! When Covid-19 forced programs to go virtual, Holy Family looked to have continued support for STEM in their after-school programs. Holy Family School is located in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood and student body demographics include:

  • 100% students of color
  • 100% of students receiving financial aid

Programs offered at Holy Family School in Spring 2022 include:

  • Building Block Club (Kindergarten) – engineering and life sciences
  • Building Block Club (1st-2nd grade) – engineering and life sciences
  • STEMQuest (3rd-4th grade) – computer science and engineering
  • STEMQuest (5th-8th grade) – engineering and computer science

Woodson Elementary School

Since 2016, PE has provided out-of-school STEM programming for Woodson via our Brothers4Science and Sisters4Science curriculum. Since then, we’ve introduced our STEMQuest programming for 6th through 8th graders, which includes students gaining skills related to cybersecurity. Woodson is located in Bronzeville, and demographics of the student body includes:

  • Low-Income Students- 96.7%
  • Chronic Absenteeism – 49%
  • Students with IEPs – 21%

Spring 2022 programs being delivered at Woodson Elementary School include:

  • STEMQuest (6th-8th grade) – engineering and computer science

UCCS Donoghue Elementary

PE was contacted by staff at UCCS Donoghue at the start of the new year, and Spring 2022 marks our first engagement with their students. The school is located in Chicago’s Douglas neighborhood, and student body demographics include:  

  • Low-Income Students- 96.7%
  • Chronic Absenteeism – 49%
  • Students with IEPs – 21%

Programs being delivered at UCCS Donoghue this Spring include: 

  • Building Block Club (Kindergarten to 2nd grade) – astronomy and life sciences
  • STEMQuest (3rd-5th grade) – computer science and medical sciences

Betty Shabazz Academy

PE has a long partnership with Northwestern University’s Office of Community Education Partnerships (OCEP). When OCEP’s staff was contacted by Shabazz’s team (and their sister campus, Barbara A. Sizemore Academy) during summer 2021 requesting support around STEM for their students, OCEP told them about Project Exploration and a partnership was born. PE currently provides high quality STEM programs virtually to Shabazz’s entire student body from kindergarten to 8th grade, and hopes to work with their students in-person next school year. The campus is located in Chicago’s Grand Crossing neighborhood, and student body demographics include:  

  • Low-Income Students- 83.5%
  • Chronic Absenteeism – 44%
  • Students with IEPs – 7%

Programs being delivered at Betty Shabazz Academy in Spring 2022 include: 

  • Building Block Club (Kindergarten) – engineering and life sciences
  • Building Block Club (1st grade) – engineering and life sciences
  • Building Block Club (2nd grade – group A) – engineering and life sciences
  • Building Block Club (2nd grade – group B) – engineering and life sciences
  • STEMQuest (3rd grade) – engineering and computer science
  • STEMQuest (4th grade) – engineering and computer science
  • STEMQuest (5th grade – group A) – FUSE engineering and design programs
  • STEMQuest (5th grade – group B) – FUSE engineering and design programs
  • STEMQuest (6th grade) – FUSE engineering and design programs
  • STEMQuest (7th grade) – FUSE engineering and design programs
  • STEMQuest (8th grade – group A) – FUSE engineering and design programs
  • STEMQuest (8th grade – group B) – FUSE engineering and design programs

Barbara A. Sizemore Academy

PE has a long partnership with Northwestern University’s Office of Community Education Partnerships (OCEP). When OCEP’s staff was contacted by Sizemore’s team (and their sister campus, Betty Shabazz Academy) during summer 2021 requesting support around STEM for their students, OCEP told them about Project Exploration and a partnership was born. PE currently provides high quality STEM programs virtually to almost the entirety of Sizemore’s student body from kindergarten to 8th grade, and hopes to work with their students in-person next school year. The campus is located in Chicago’s Gresham neighborhood, and student body demographics include:  

  • Low-Income Students- 70.7%
  • Chronic Absenteeism – 38%
  • Students with IEPs – 5%

Programs being delivered at Barbara A. Sizemore Academy in Spring 2022 include: 

  • Building Block Club (Kindergarten – group A) – engineering and life sciences
  • Building Block Club (Kindergarten – group B) – engineering and life sciences
  • Building Block Club (1st grade) – engineering and life sciences
  • Building Block Club (2nd grade) – engineering and life sciences
  • STEMQuest (3rd grade) – engineering and computer science
  • STEMQuest (4th grade) – engineering and computer science
  • STEMQuest (5th grade) – FUSE engineering and design programs
  • STEMQuest (6th grade) – FUSE engineering and design programs
  • STEMQuest (7th grade) – FUSE engineering and design programs
  • STEMQuest (8th grade) – FUSE engineering and design programs
Supporters like YOU make PE programs free for low-income students, students of color, and girls across the South and West sides of Chicago.

A donation of just $50 sponsors one student for the entire Spring semester.

Please consider a tax-deductible donation today.

Refer or Become a School-Based Partner

If you are interested in learning more about school partnership opportunities, contact our Sarah Tinsman at [email protected]

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