Press Release: Chicago Students Present Their Work in Technology and the Sciences

CONTACT:  Holly Trippett, Public Relations Associate, Citizen Schools


Becca Kopf, Director of External Engagement, Citizen Schools              





Chicago Students Present Their Work in Technology and the Sciences

Middle schoolers showcase hands-on STEM experiences at Google Chicago Headquarters

May 23, 2013 – Chicago, IL – Citizen Schools is hosting a citywide event celebrating middle school students’ impressive science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) projects, sponsored by The Gallup Organization. During a longer school day, students participate in hands-on apprenticeships taught by volunteer professionals who share their expertise and passion in exciting and engaging ways. This WOW! event -- named after the reaction most adults have after seeing student work -- is a chance for students to turn the tables and become the experts, teaching back what they learned over their 10 week apprenticeships to community and family members and STEM leaders.

According to a Lemelson-MIT study, a majority of teenagers may be discouraged from pursuing STEM careers because they do not know anyone who works in these fields and they do not understand what people in these fields do. Citizen Schools is on the front lines of this work to provide students with enrichment projects that foster authentic learning experiences with professionals during an expanded learning day. By having community volunteers, or Citizen Teachers, sharing their passion, students get the advantage of learning real-life skills and making connections between their academics and future success.

The STEM WOW! event will take place today, May 23rd, at the Google Chicago Headquarters from 4:00-5:00PM. Students and Citizen Teachers representing two schools from the Chicago area and nine different apprenticeships will showcase their work.

"The Gallup Organization is proud to sponsor Citizen Schools Illinois' first STEM WOW! At Gallup, we know how important it is to provide students with a vision for their future and a path to achieve those dreams. We also know how essential it is that we develop the STEM workforce of tomorrow. We are sponsoring the STEM WOW! because it is an investment in Chicago Public Schools' middle school students and an opportunity to celebrate the incredible work these future scientists, business men and women, and technology leaders have accomplished this school year with Citizen Schools."

Presenting apprenticeships include video game design, electrical engineering, product development and marketing, and more. The students will show off the video game they designed and programmed, their engineering projects include building on an old TV, the product development and marketing plan around a new ice cream flavor for Ben & Jerry’s, and more.

About Citizen Schools

Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for low-income children across the country. Citizen Schools uniquely mobilizes thousands of adult volunteers to help improve student achievement by teaching skill-building apprenticeships. The organization’s programs blend these real-world learning projects with rigorous academic and leadership development activities, preparing students in the middle grades for success in high school, college, the workforce, and civic life.

Founded in Boston in 1995, Citizen Schools has grown into a national network of thirty-one partner schools serving over 5,300 students in low-income communities across eight states. The organization partners with Walsh Elementary School and Cesar E. Chavez Middle School in the Chicago area, serving 350 students and engaging approximately 160 volunteers this academic year.