Science WoRx™ Encourages Futures in STEM through Support of Summer Science Camps

Science WoRx™ Encourages Futures in STEM through Support of Summer Science Camps

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Monday, August 14, 2017 - 1:20pm

CAMPAIGN: Astellas USA Foundation

CONTENT: Article

As the daughter of an electrician, Elizabeth developed an early comfort level and familiarity with circuits and programming. During her two weeks attending PS Science’s Summer S-Team Rangers camp, Elizabeth served as the go-to helper for her fellow 4th and 5th grade campers, helping fix their laser powered car circuits and assisting the camp’s electrical engineer. At just 11 years old, she began to see what a future career might hold.

Elizabeth was one of 28 students who attended PS Science’s annual S-Team Rangers camp, a two-week, STEM-focused program offering budding scientists a chance to explore diverse science and engineering fields. As part of its Science WoRx program, a grant from Astellas USA Foundation provided campers with hands-on experiments, such as engineering challenges, computer coding, circuitry, and programming. Six Science WoRx mentors visited the camp to present lessons and help the students conduct experiments with real-life scientists.

From extracting the DNA of strawberries to learning how pennies shine, to test-driving segways to experiment with gyroscopes, each day offered a chance for students to dive deeper into their passion and fuel their long-term interest in these fields.

In addition to PS Science, Astellas USA Foundation also provided support for two STEMGirls summer camps through the iBIO Institute EDUCATE Center. Located in Waukegan and Red Bud, Ill., the camps provided hands-on activities, sessions with STEM professionals and field trips to encourage 204 girls to start thinking about a future in STEM. 

“Third to eighth grade is a critical time where many girls decide whether STEM is for them,” said John Conrad, iBIO Institute Executive Vice President. “The STEMGirls Summer Camps promote STEM and STEM careers in a way that inspires girls to begin planning a future in these careers.”

To help inspire this thinking, Astellas USA Foundation recruited 17 female Science WoRx mentors to visit the camp and speak with girls about their personal journeys working in STEM. The mentors spoke about their job responsibilities, why they are passionate about what they do, and why more girls should feel empowered to do the same.

Through its Science WoRx program, Astellas USA Foundation has proudly supported PS Science and iBIO for several years to encourage young learners to take interest in science fields. By providing engaging curriculum and activities, students are building important scientific reasoning and critical thinking skills – two learnings that will benefit their careers no matter what path they choose to take. 

As the camps came to a close, nearly all students from PS Science asked to come back next summer, and continuously asked to bring their notebooks and lab coats home.

“We hope to continue providing the S-Teams Rangers summer camp experience to students who are particularly ready for a deeper exploration into the possibilities within science and engineering fields,” said Julie Olds, PS Science Executive Director. “These skills will stay with these young learners and provide positive benefits as they choose their career paths later in life.”

For more photos from PS Science and STEMGirls camps, please click here

CATEGORY: Education