Written by Brothers4Science STEM Facilitator, Carlos Matallana

Science is not only numbers or complex formulas, it is fun and exploration. Through the re-implementation of Brothers4Science, using our structure from our signature program Sisters4Science, and just adjusting for an all boys audience, our hope is to teach our students just that.  We are excited to implement this pilot program at Frederick Funston Elementary School in Logan Square with the help of our amazing partners at Logan Square Neighborhood Association.

To start the first day of program on Wednesday, October 7th, 2015, we all brainstormed about early tools that helped humans evolution and exploration of our world. STEM Facilitator Carlos suggested “the book.” A student yelled “A pen!” Yes, the pen was created before. “A gun,” Luis suggested! Carlos, corrected him, “Nope! A gun is an evolved tool, what would be an earlier version of it?” Luis replied timidly “an arrow?” “Yes, and previous to the arrow?,” asked Carlos. After few seconds of reflection, Luis replied, “A stick or a stone?” Yes! We all revisited then the fire, the wheel, the ink, the paper, and more technological improvements developed by humans that we use every day.

The second week we used the school gym to play a silent ball game. Points were taken if any one of the teams were either talking or yelling. Communication between players were done via signs or body movements.

To start off our STEM Professional visitors to our program, we welcomed Mr. Benjamin Richardson, a medicinal chemistry graduate student at University of Illinois at Chicago.  Mr. Richardson brought an exciting activity based around the idea of proteins and the process in which they bond together to produce usable compounds for the body. To make this an easily understood concept for our students, Mr. Richardson used something that almost all boys are familiar with, LEGOS!  Many of our boys were excited about this activity because many of them have had the chance to use Legos in our Explore Technology: goIT program!  They had a great time working through the activity and creating their own Lego-based proteins!

Until next week!

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