Written by one of our amazing STEM Facilitators, Ms. Bori Kim:
Scientist Professional Development was held at Hyde Park Art Center on the lovely afternoon of Saturday, February 21, 2015. This workshop was designed to support our scientists in their lesson-planning and give them a better understanding of the Sisters4Science program. We had such an amazing speaker, Dr. Stephanie Levi. Dr. Levi currently teaches pre-service teachers and Biology major students at Northeastern Illinois University. She has been an Evaluations Specialist at Project Exploration. She is also involved in a blog called ‘Science is Sexy’ and Chicago STEM Pathways.
Dr. Levi opened up her presentation by asking the participants a question: what is mentorship or what does a mentor do? We had a time to write down some thoughts and shared as a group. “Mentors motivate and get young students interested in a professional field.” “It’s like being a guide for young people, leading into careers.” “She encourages them to be positive in their lives.” “To give immediate feedback or responses to their ideas.” “Be open to different and all ideas students bring.” It was a very interactive conversation among the scientists.
Based on this conversation, Dr. Levi moved onto the next slide—what Sisters4Science really is for. She shared history of S4S. Sisters4Science is an after-school program that supports young minority girls (middle grades to freshman year) to get into STEM fields. Sisters4Science is not just an extra-curricular activity, but it offers a lasting relationship that is meaningful to both scientists and students within learning experience.
Sisters4Science also offers a wonderful opportunity for the scientists. By joining one or two S4S sessions, they can integrate what is being done in the program with their own careers or professional work. Plus, they can be role models for the next generation. Amazing opportunity, isn’t it J
For the last part of the workshop, we discussed how 5E lesson plan works in a Sisters4Science setting. We reviewed sample plans as we developed our own curriculum for the upcoming lessons. As a closure, Dr. Levi got us in a hands-on activity, “Looking into Cells.” She modeled for us how the lesson can be simple, but still has a concrete concept of science. With a fancy portable microscope, we were able to see the deep inside of onion peels!
All scientists were well-supported by this workshop. Special thanks to Dr. Levi & Ms. Carmichael!