Hypothesis: If 826CHI and Project Exploration gather a bunch of incredibly curious students together for a week and, on top of teaching them solid science and writing skills, connect them with journalists and scientists, the students (and instructors) will have an amazing time and write amazing things.
Test the hypothesis: After securing an exceptionally curious group of junior high and high school students, 826CHI and Project Exploration introduced the young writers to the likes of chemist Mike Davis, health reporter for the Chicago Tribune, Monica Eng, investigative reporter and stats wiz, Jeff Kelly Lowenstein from Hoy, and astrophysicist Sean Carroll who just so happened to be at CERN when they announced the discovery of the Higgs boson!
As the students were exposed to the intersection of science and the media, they were challenged to write about science that matters to them. With personal stories weaved into essays full of research, the students presented their compelling essays on everything from the multiple benefits of community gardens to reflections on neuroscience and tolerance.
Conclusion: The hypothesis seems to be confirmed. Cannot wait to retest the results next summer!
Science Media Team video courtesy of Free Spirit Media
About 826Chicago: 826CHI is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.
Special Thanks To: Sean Carroll, California Institute of Technology; Cat Crowder and Jehad Broderick, Project Exploration; Mike Davis Associate Vice Chancellor for STEM at City Colleges of Chicago; Monica Eng, Chicago Tribune; Jeff Lowenstein-Kelly, HOY.
The Science Media Team program was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Motorola Mobility Foundation and our program host, City Colleges of Chicago. Funding for all of Project Exploration’s Youth-Science programs has been provided by: Abbott Fund, ABC 7 Chicago, Allstate Insurance Company, Andrew Family Foundation, Anonymous Foundation, Apogee Foundation, Boodell & Domanskis, LLC, Brinson Foundation, Brokers’ Risk Placement Services, Inc., Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Coinstar, Inc., Exelon, Gensler, Lefkofsky Family Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, MacLennan & Bain Insurance, Mayer and Morris Kaplan Family Foundation, McMaster-Carr Supply Company, Merrill Lynch, MidAmerican Energy Foundation, Motorola Solutions, Motorola Solutions Foundation, National Geographic Society, Neal & McDevitt LLC, OAS Software Corporation, Pearson Education, Peoples Gas, ReedSmith LLP, The Harold and Marilyn Melcher Foundation, The Noyce Foundation, The Pierce Family Charitable Foundation, Donald P. and Byrd M. Kelly Foundation, Luther I. Replogle Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, SAP America, Inc., The REAM Foundation, U.S. Bank.