School- and Community-Based Partnerships

School-based programs are PE’s oldest program model, designed to provide high-quality STEM programming for students at their home school. Most often, partnerships are locations on the South and West sides of Chicago, which too often have limited to no robust STEM learning opportunities for their students. All of Project Exploration’s programs aim to foster a lifelong relationship with science, technology, engineering and math by providing students with a dynamic set of experiences through Youth-Science Pathways. PE’s school-based programs are no exception to this structure. Organized around four phases of scientific inquiry (Launch, Discover, Explore, and Pursue), Youth-Science Pathways is a set of fluid, non-linear programs that reflect students’ emerging skills, curiosity, and ambition; and encourages them to take ownership of their learning, become active members of the scientific community, and invest in a lifelong practice of inquiry.

PE welcomes inquiries from Chicago Public Schools, private or charter schools, and other community-based partners seeking to supplement their in- or out-of-school time offerings to including science, technology, engineering, and math.

PE programs are grant-supported to reduce the cost to school partners, and are always provided at no-cost to students and families. Once or twice weekly program models are available depending on the needs of school partners, and we work with partners to determine the program offering, curriculum choices, and implementation format (e.g. virtual, in-person) to meet their needs. 

The PE Difference

Project Exploration is different than many STEM enrichment providers in that we offer:

  • Reflective mentors
  • Expert-Validated Evaluation Tools
  • Fun, hands-on STEM learning aligned with NGGS standards
  • Small Student to Instructor Ratios
  • Field Trip and School Break Opportunities to Students at No Cost to the Student or Partner
  • Guest visitors from world-class STEM corporations, including Dyson, Boeing, Apple, Meta, and more to introduce students to STEM careers!

A 10-year longitudinal study revealed that PE youth are 3x as likely to attend a 4-year college, and over one-third major in a STEM discipline. 2021-22 student outcomes included:

  • 34% increased STEM identity
  • 42% increased interest in STEM career
  • 30% increased confidence in STEM
  • 32% increased 21st Century Skills

2022-23 General Program Timeline

Fall Program Sessions

  • September:  school on-boarding and facilitator training and curriculum preparation
  • October 3: tentative Fall program kick off date, to be discussed and finalized with individual partners
  • December 16: tentative Fall program conclusion date, to be discussed and finalized with individual partners

Spring Program Sessions

  • January: Spring school on-boarding and/or Fall partner renewal and facilitator training and curriculum preparation
  • February 6: tentative Spring program kick off date, to be discussed and finalized with individual partners
  • May 19: tentative Fall program conclusion date, to be discussed and finalized with individual partners

Both Fall and Spring sessions culminate in student competition and/or Reflection of Knowledge event wherein students demonstrate their projects and knowledge to their peers & community.

Click the button below to download our school- and community-based partner flyer or complete the interest form to get in touch with a staff member to develop a partnership proposal. If you’re not sure if your program is the right fit for the model or you’re not sure what you’re looking for, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss. We look forward to working with you!

Partner with us to bolster your students’ STEM learning during in-school specials or after school programming.

Complete this interest form to give PE staff a preliminary idea of your students’ STEM program needs and/or interests. Upon your completion of this form, a Project Exploration staff member will contact you to set up a kick off meeting to further outline your needs, discuss what PE can offer, and develop a formal proposal of partnership.

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