The University City Science Center is among the Philadelphia area organizations to receive a national recognition Tuesday morning when US2020 announced it is the recipient of its third annual STEM Mentoring Awards.
The Science Center, Steppingstone Scholars Inc. and Spark are among those honored Tuesday by US2020, a division of the national nonprofit Citizen Schools developed following a White House call to foster science, technology, engineering and math [STEM] professionals.
The organization recognized the Science Center with its Excellence in Volunteer Experience award for its FirstHand program, which US2020 said "excels at creating quality volunteer experiences by helping individual mentors design their engagement based on their own unique skills and goals."
Philadelphia-based Steppingstone Scholars received the Excellence in Public-Private Partnership. Roxborough's W.B. Saul High School got the same recognition last year. Steppingstong is a nonprofit that provides educational programming for underserved students. US2020 says its STEAM Education Collaborative is "an innovative approach that seeks to implement STEAM programming that spans 4th grade-college and is focused on reducing achievement gaps in STEAM-related fields across its’ programs."
Chicago-based Spark, which received US2020's Excellence in Impact Measurement honor, launched its first East Coast site in Philadelphia in 2013, according to its website.
In Philadelphia, Spark partnered with six schools – Bache-Martin School, Henry C. Lea School, James G. Blaine School, Middle Years Alternative School, S. Weir Mitchell School and William Dick School – to boost career exploration and understanding among middle schoolers.
US2020 says the organization helps the students with "socio-emotional learning, social capital, and school performance."
The full list of US2020 STEM Mentoring Award winners will be available here.