Exhausted your NGG-led outreach options? Interested in engaging with the greater Philadelphia community through non-profit and non-University groups? Check out the initiatives below and find something that interests you!
iPraxis – This University City-based non-profit was created to enhance science education in Philadelphia public schools. By working with iPraxis, graduate student volunteer scientists (“Scienteers”) go directly into classrooms and work weekly with students to develop a project, culminating in the project’s presentation at the annual Science Fair. The threefold goals of iPraxis are:
- to engender greater interest in the sciences,
- to demonstrate the relevance of science to the everyday,
- and to promote career opportunities in the sciences,
all the while building positive mentoring relationships and developing the work ethic and skill sets required to bring a project to its completion.
Science Education Academy – the Science Education Academy (SEA) is both an enrichment program and an opportunity for urban youth to get hands-on, fun, interactive experience with science. SEA began in 2008 as a partnership between the White Rock Baptist Church and the Ernest E. Just Biomedical Society at Penn, and the program serves elementary school students in the West Philadelphia community. Each Saturday, SEA volunteers teach students in grades 2-5 scientific concepts that correspond with the School District of Philadelphia curriculum. Our team of directors creates age-appropriate experiments for our volunteers to teach in order to encourage children to think critically and to develop confidence in their own scientific prowess. In addition to our normal Saturday programming, we support 4-6th graders in the George Washington Carver Science Fair held at the Natural Academy of the Sciences each February. In 2012, we held our first annual community science carnival where we engaged over 80 K-6th students and their parents in hands-on science activities. During the carnival, graduate students and post-docs presented their scientific work to the lay community and SEA volunteers conducted a parent workshop on Science Fair preparation.
We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to commit 1-2 Saturdays a month to classroom instruction to support children’s exposure to and enthusiasm for science. We are also interested in volunteers with less flexibility as we offer 2-3 events during the year where we need additional volunteer support. For example, we have a Science Carnival in the Summer and our first annual Women in Science Day planned this spring.