1391 Views
  1. Beatriz Canas
  2. Program Manager Science Career Continuum
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Chicago Botanic Garden
  1. Julie Steffens
  2. Development Officer
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Chicago Botanic Garden

Science First and College First: Connecting Chicago’s Youth to Local Environm...

NE-00E02261

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

Beginning January 1, 2018, the Chicago Botanic Garden commenced work on an environmental education curriculum, funded by an award from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

The Chicago Botanic Garden Science Career Continuum along with five Chicago community organizations and an experienced, Chicago-based curriculum writer, are in the process of creating and implementing curricula for the Science First II and College First programs. The programs focus on encouraging and supporting underrepresented students in the STEM fields.  Students conduct hands-on scientific exploration and fieldwork exploring local environmental challenges related to air and water quality, toxic materials, green space, and climate change. After learning about these topics, students engage in community education days facilitated by the partner organizations, solidifying their knowledge and empowering them as experts.

The goal of the project is to contextualize science within communities familiar to students, making them aware of environmental issues that impact them. Further, the project sheds light on environmental hazards, which disproportionately affect communities of color, especially those that are also low-income. 

This video has had approximately 120 visits by 103 visitors from 64 unique locations. It has been played 74 times.
activity map thumbnail Click to See Activity Worldwide
Map reflects activity with this presentation from the 2019 STEM for All Video Showcase: Innovations in STEM Education website, as well as the STEM For All Multiplex website.
Based on periodically updated Google Analytics data. This is intended to show usage trends but may not capture all activity from every visitor.
show more
Original Discussion from the 2019 STEM for All Video Showcase
  • Icon for: MARY SPRAGGS

    MARY SPRAGGS

    Graduate Student
    May 12, 2019 | 05:14 p.m.

    Thank you for your work! Everyone benefits from time spent in nature, and it's great to give the students the power to make a change in their local community/environment.

  • Icon for: Beatriz Canas

    Beatriz Canas

    Lead Presenter
    Program Manager Science Career Continuum
    May 13, 2019 | 04:15 p.m.

    Thanks, Mary! We are really proud of what our students have achieved.

  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Researcher
    May 13, 2019 | 12:57 p.m.

    Great project, and hurray for botanic gardens!  

    Is there something parallel for teachers (perhaps a plan for the future) — so that the great ideas infect the schools more and more widely? 

     

  • Icon for: Beatriz Canas

    Beatriz Canas

    Lead Presenter
    Program Manager Science Career Continuum
    May 13, 2019 | 04:18 p.m.

    The Chicago Public Schools District administration and some high school teachers are aware of our program, but we do not directly influence curriculum at this time. It's a good idea, though! 

  • Icon for: Noah Feinstein

    Noah Feinstein

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 03:46 p.m.

    I could not love this project more - you’ve got such a fantastic network of partners! Right now, I’m working with an arboretum to help develop and expand their educational programs, and it makes ,e think a lot about the way “informal education” conversations have focused too much on museums and not enough on other sorts of institution. What unique assets do you think a botanical garden - and this one in particular - add to this sort of work?

  • Icon for: Beatriz Canas

    Beatriz Canas

    Lead Presenter
    Program Manager Science Career Continuum
    May 15, 2019 | 10:40 a.m.


    Thanks, Noah! I would say our unique assets are our living collection and our staff scientists who are willing to mentor students. Where many museums work with students to become "explainers" on a museum floor, we have been able to  put students into real science research and get a feel for what it would be like to pursue science as a career. Another asset is our connections with other organizations that share our environmental goals. These partners enable us to bring social justice issues into the learning experience in a powerful and meaningful way.



    + Reply

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Noah Feinstein
  • Icon for: Beatriz Canas

    Beatriz Canas

    Lead Presenter
    Program Manager Science Career Continuum
    May 13, 2019 | 04:26 p.m.

    Thanks, Noah! I would say our unique assets are our living collection and our staff scientists who are willing to mentor students. Where many museums work with students to become "explainers" on a museum floor, we have been able to  put students into real science research and get a feel for what it would be like to pursue science as a career. Another asset is our connections with other organizations that share our environmental goals. These partners enable us to bring social justice issues into the learning experience in a powerful and meaningful way.

  • Icon for: Molly Phillips

    Molly Phillips

    iDigBio Education, Outreach and Diversity Coordinator
    May 14, 2019 | 09:13 a.m.

    This is an amazing! Does your program work with undergraduate students?

  • Icon for: Beatriz Canas

    Beatriz Canas

    Lead Presenter
    Program Manager Science Career Continuum
    May 15, 2019 | 10:40 a.m.

    Thanks, Molly! Our program is for high school students, but we do channel a few qualified alumni who are undergrads into the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in our science department. These undergrads actually work with some of our high school students so that there is a "near peer" mentorship opportunity, which we hope fosters community and encourages students to continue on their STEM pathway.

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Molly Phillips
  • Icon for: Molly Phillips

    Molly Phillips

    iDigBio Education, Outreach and Diversity Coordinator
    May 15, 2019 | 10:50 a.m.

    Great! Thanks so much for the response. The reason I ask is that we may be looking (pending funding) for partners from museums, herbaria, and botanic gardens to work on some internship programming targeted at undergraduates. I really like that you are integrating your programs by creating near peer mentor opportunities. 

  • Icon for: Beatriz Canas

    Beatriz Canas

    Lead Presenter
    Program Manager Science Career Continuum
    May 14, 2019 | 10:43 a.m.

    Thanks, Molly! Our program is for high school students, but we do channel a few qualified alumni who are undergrads into the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in our science department. These undergrads actually work with some of our high school students so that there is a "near peer" mentorship opportunity, which we hope fosters community and encourages students to continue on their STEM pathway.

  • Icon for: Noelia Báez Rodríguez

    Noelia Báez Rodríguez

    Education Coordinator
    May 14, 2019 | 12:42 p.m.

    Hi Beatriz,

    Thanks for communicating about your program! This is great work and love the community connection. 

  • Icon for: Rabiah Mayas

    Rabiah Mayas

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 05:12 p.m.

    This is an exciting project, and as a Chicagoan, it resonates deeply - thank you for sharing this work with us! I appreciate the attention to the disproportionate impacts of environmental changes and hazards on populations and communities that have been marginalized. To what extent do the two programs build capacity in participants to be science communicators and ambassadors for environmental justice in the various contexts of their everyday lives? Are students joining clubs, seeking out other programs, participating in activism, etc. as a result of their participation? I'm curious if you've seen any evidence of this to date and any conclusions you might draw from that.

  • Icon for: Beatriz Canas

    Beatriz Canas

    Lead Presenter
    Program Manager Science Career Continuum
    May 15, 2019 | 10:26 a.m.

    Hi, Rabiah. These are very good questions. Last summer was the first year of this project, so most of our evidence is anecdotal at this point. The projects the students worked on were very strong and the students all expressed passion for the issues they investigated. In other words, we know there is a spark! We are hoping to see how this summer's returning students approach their second year of the program, and find out more about the effect of this program on their lives, and we will asks for annual updates in their academic and career choices, as well as other endeavors, after they graduate from our program.

  • Icon for: Rabiah Mayas

    Rabiah Mayas

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2019 | 07:53 p.m.

    Hi Beatriz, thank you for the reply! It's great to hear the students were passionate about their projects and it'll be exciting to explore the returning students' experiences since last summer! I missed the longitudinal check-in portion of this project; that should be a nice opportunity to monitor some of these key transition and decision moments. 

  • Icon for: Anne Kern

    Anne Kern

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2019 | 03:57 a.m.

    Someone in the video mentioned that the youth programs have students study when they learn in school. I am curious about that. Do you intentional collaborate with teachers or classrooms of your student participants? How many youth are in your programs, and then how many classroom, and what do you do to work with teachers?

     

  • Icon for: Beatriz Canas

    Beatriz Canas

    Lead Presenter
    Program Manager Science Career Continuum
    May 15, 2019 | 10:49 a.m.

    Hi, Anne. We accept 60 students (about 20 at each level) and the students come from different schools around Chicago. We don't formally collaborate with teachers on curriculum, but we do see evidence of students bringing the things they learned in our summer program back to school and vice versa. Many students take their summer research and turn it into a science fair project. This year one student's summer project advanced to the Illinois State STEM Exhibition. Over time we have established relationships with some teachers and administrators who help us identify and recruit ideal students for our program.

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.

Multiplex Discussion
  • Post to the Discussion

    If you have an account, please login before contributing. New visitors may post with email verification.


    For visitors, we require email verification before we will post your comment. When you receive the email click on the verification link and your message will be made visible.



    Name:

    Email:

    Role:
    NOTE: Your email will be kept private and will not be shared with any 3rd parties