science channel

Congratulations to MacCalvin Romain, our "Science Super Hero"

The Science Channel is crowning “Science Super Heroes” this month in celebration of 20 years on the air. We’re proud to announce that Citizen Schools alum MacCalvin Romain is one of those heroes. MacCalvin learned how to build a computer as a sixth-grader in a Citizen Schools apprenticeship in Boston, MA. His interest in computer technology was piqued. Although MacCalvin has now graduated from college and is enrolled in a Masters program, he has remained connected to Citizen Schools throughout his professional journey. In an interview on ABC5 Boston, MacCalvin explained why he returned to the program. “It was great to be able to come back, to come full circle and reach out to some of these kids,” he says.

His first experiment with engineering was successful. MacCalvin says he was known as “the kid with the hair dryer” for a while, after his attempt to turn a hair dryer into a flashlight succeeded. While it may seem like an unusual beginning for a technologist, it’s these types of small victories in experimentation that inspire students and launch careers.

MacCalvin Romain

MacCalvin says his time as a Citizen Schools student showed him the potential his personal experiments and everyday classes held. “It wasn’t until 6th grade that i started to understand where these math and science courses could take you in the future,” says MacCalvin.

After graduating from Boston College, MacCalvin went to work for EMC, “a dream come true” for a local Boston kid, he says. While working at EMC, MacCalvin volunteered with Citizen Schools, teaching an apprenticeship to kids from neighborhoods like his. He has taught over 200 students from Boston and Chelsea.

“EMC gave me that platform, for the kids to see someone who grew up in some of the areas that they are from, to see, “Hey, he’s working at EMC, he’s working in the technology space, I can relate to that,” MacCalvin says. “So for me it was an opportunity for these kids to have a role model or an influence.”

MacCalvin was instrumental in a mentoring partnership between DigitasLBI and Citizen Schools campuses in Boston. McCalvin worked as a senior marketing analyst at Digitas, and galvanized his coworkers into volunteering.

As for why he continues to teach, even as his career takes off, McCalvin offered a simple reason. “I want to give kids the opportunity to really experience the computer building, experience the technology, and when they sign up for the class, hopefully one of these kids will be able to say “this is something that I can see myself doing,” he says.

People have noticed the impact MacCalvin has on the kids he works with. One of MacCalvin’s students, Toni-Chanelle, earned a spot at the White House Science Fair for a video game she built in MacCalvin’s coding class. Last year, he was honored with a Presidential Volunteer Service Award. And now, MacCalvin is being nationally recognized as a Science Super Hero. Here at Citizen Schools, we couldn’t think of a more fitting title. Congratulations, MacCalvin, we can’t wait to see what you do next!


To learn more about the Science Channel's Science Super Heroes, click here.

Science Channel to Launch 'Science Super Heroes Initiative' on October 1

In celebration of Science Channel's 20th Anniversary which falls on October 1, 2016, today the network announced it is launching and crowning 'Science Super Heroes'. As the destination for all things science, Science Channel is committed to igniting passion forScience and encouraging the next generation of innovators, problem solvers, and game changers. Recognizing the Science superstars all around us, the new Science Super Heroes initiative recognizes individuals who are furthering Science in local communities across the country. Science Channel's first Super Heroes are Tara Chklovski, Dawn Thompson, and MacCalvin Romain.

Three Science Super Heroes will be nominated monthly from any of the following categories: Super Star (CEO or professional), Shooting Star (super fan), and Rising Star (college student). Each Science Super Hero will be highlighted on-air on Science Channel the first Thursday of the month and across all Science Channel social platforms for the entire month. Shooting Stars and Rising Stars will receive a $2,000.00 gift card to Global Giving where they can donate to a charity of choice. Super Stars will work with Science Channel representatives to mentor and foster science-minded youth in their community.

"For 20 years, Science Channel has cultivated unique programming from diverse talent and producers, making us the destination for space, technology and all things Science for a new generation," said Marc Etkind, General Manager of Science Channel. "I can't think of a better way to mark this anniversary than to celebrate the Science super heroes from our audiences and communities across the country."

Tara Chklovski is the CEO and founder of the global non-profit Iridescent.

Her mission in life has been to transform the opportunities available to young people, especially girls, to reach their full-potential and impact their communities. Tara founded Iridescent in 2006 to create and deliver powerful science, engineering, and technology education to empower underrepresented young people. Iridescent has since grown to a community of over 3,500 mentors and more than 63,000 participants throughout the world through its flagship programs Technovation and CURIOSITY Machine. Forbes highlighted Tara in 2016 as "the pioneer empowering the incredible tech girls of the future" and she was prominently featured in the award-winning documentary Codegirl.

Dawn Thompson met her husband, PUNKIN CHUNKIN cofounder Bill Thompson in 1988, and she's been a passionate Punkin Chunker ever since. Dawn has been present for every majorPUNKIN CHUNKIN moment, from the first centrifugal machine to now. When asked about her interest in amateur engineering, Dawn merely says, "I'm pretty good at the mechanical stuff." 'Pretty good' is an understatement coming from the first woman to ever take home a Championship PUNKIN CHUNKIN title, a feat accomplished with her winning air cannon Hormone Blaster on the event's 25th Anniversary. Dawn's passion for mechanics, innovation, and creativity make her a Science Super Hero to backyard engineers everywhere.

MacCalvin Romain is a Boston native currently earning his Master's in Business Administration from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. After earning a Bachelor's of Science in Management and Information Systems from Boston College, MacCalvin worked as an IT Consultant at EMC and as a Managing Business Technologist at DigistasLBI. In 2012 while at DigitasLBI, MacCalvin formed a partnership with Citizens School, a non-profit organization whose mission is to close the opportunity gap for middle schoolers in low-income communities by creating after-school programs that extend the learning day. Looking to blend his passion for technology and innovation with his passion for giving back to his community, MacCalvin recruited members of the Digitas team and launched an after-school curriculum that has brought technology and marketing-based courses to over 250 students in the Boston public school system. Outside of his studies, MacCalvin serves on the Citizen Schools Leadership Council, Massachusetts STEM council, TEDxBoston leadership team, and is the Director of the Wolverine Venture Fund at the University of Michigan.

Science Channel partners and charities featured in the Science Super Heroes initiative include US2020, Iridescent, AAAS, Girls Inc., Mouse, and DIYGirls.