Project Exploration hosted its 20th annual Reflection of Knowledge at Cisco Meraki on Thursday, May 16, 2019. This year, the Reflection of Knowledge brought together nearly 50 youth from Sisters4Science, Brothers4Science, and the West Side STEM Learning Center. Each program shared their favorite project from the year, presenting their findings and highlighting the challenges and how they worked through them.
Project Exploration values the connection students make to real STEM experiences. Creating opportunities to expose students to STEM mentors and STEM-related environments has been a hallmark of Project Exploration programs. We always seek opportunities where our students can meet STEM professionals and can take trips to labs, nature centers, and corporations. These experiences build our students ability to see the options available to them if they are interested in STEM fields.
There are also potential dips in academic achievement during extended times away from the classroom over the winter season. “Similar to summer learning loss, winter learning loss tends to have a greater impact on students who might have less access to scholastic resources at home (Education Post).” At the West Side STEM Learning Center (SLC), Project Exploration successfully hosted its first Winter Break Program on January 2-4 in an effort to keep students engaged during the out-of-school time.
Project Exploration has cultivated deep relationships with key stakeholders in the Austin neighborhood in the effort to identify and close opportunity gaps in the STEM learning ecosystem for the community’s youth.
Project Exploration connects student experiences through programs, field trips, STEM mentors and in some cases attending a ball! Madison participated in Summer of Science and shares her experience including attending the Museum of Science and Industry’s Columbian Ball!