STEM Mentorship

WYSE partner organizations collaborate with the Grainger College of Engineering to provide K-12 youth from diverse backgrounds with authentic STEM enrichment experiences within afterschool or weekend STEM programs. These engagements use curricula developed by University faculty and staff in engineering, education, and other STEM fields. Undergraduate students selected to be WYSE LEADers provide instruction and mentoring to the students involved. If you are interested in being a WYSE partner organization or a WYSE funder of these activities, please contact us. We would love to hear from you and to discuss potential avenues for partnership.

Catalyzing Inclusive Stem Experience All Year Round (CISTEME365)

WYSE partners with CISTEME365 to provide a meaningful and complete impact on the lives of children and students around the state of Illinois.

Informal technology-rich learning can have a transformative impact on students’ self-efficacy and ambition to pursue a career in STEM. A few key challenges are: enabling students access to participate, making the impact of such experiences endure, integrating them with other school efforts, and purposely engaging all student populations.

CISTEME365 hypothesizes that experiences with cutting-edge technology must exist all year-round to effect significant improvement. Thus, the fundamental project goal is to broaden access and participation in STEM for middle and high school students to participate in sustained, intensive, hands-on STEM learning experiences that build technical knowledge & ability, and that offer insight into different STEM majors & careers. The CISTEME365 project will investigate the synergistic effects of school-year STEM clubs, university-hosted summer camps, and a summer learning institute combined with a school-year networked improvement community (NIC) for school counselors and teachers.

Learn more on the CISTEME365 website.

Chicago Pre-College Science & Engineering Program (ChiS&E)

ChiS&E provides students in the Chicago Public Schools area with opportunities to grow and expand their knowledge & passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This program is unique in its focus on family partnerships. In the elementary grades, the ChiS&E Saturday classes have students and family members working side-by-side on their projects. WYSE LEADers and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Grainger College of Engineering provide support for the 7th and 8th-grade programs focused on algebra, physics, and computer science. WYSE LEADers provide mentoring and instruction in Chicago three times each semester and once a semester, the students and their families travel to the University of Illinois to engage in STEM and college preparation activities together. ChiS&E students have the opportunity to spend a few days on campus again in the summer, staying in the dorms overnight and engaging in engineering courses during the day. We envision growth within our partnership as we look ahead to this program’s expansion into the high school grade levels.

Learn more on the ChiS&E Website.

 

DREAAM House (Driven to Reach Excellence and Academic Achievement for Males)

This community impact organization aims to reduce achievement and opportunity gaps among boys and young men. This program aims to cultivate a pre-college pipeline focused on academic excellence and positive citizenship. WYSE partners with the DREAAM House STEAM program, providing afterschool science and engineering lessons developed by University of Illinois faculty and staff. Undergraduate members of the WYSE LEADers cohort provide instruction and mentorship to the DREAAM House students interested in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. In the past, WYSE has been giving instruction for LEGO Robotics in coordination with DREAAM House. Starting in Fall 2020, WYSE also started partnering with DREAAM House on IMAGINE Family STEM Nights.

Learn more on the DREAAM House Website.

IMAGINE Family STEM Nights

A Collaboration with the Champaign-Urbana  organizations DREAAM, The Well Experience, and Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center to offer a once-a-month opportunity for middle school students with their families to get exposure to different areas of engineering through fun challenges, introductions to different types of careers, and STEM confidence-building activities. During the 2020-2021 school year, STEM kits were sent home to each registered family on the the Friday before the Family STEM Nights week began. A website hosted links to the materials and events planned for each month, including Zoom links for logging into the real-time, online sessions. For the 2021-2022 school year, we are currently planning for in-person sessions. More information coming soon. This work was funded in part by the Institute for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access in the Grainger College of Engineering, University of Illinois (Grant #: GIANT2020-04 and GIANT2021-11).

The Well Experience and Girls to Life

Four girls at The Well Experience with two instructors work on building their Summer STEM rockets

A family advocacy and engagement organization with a strong focus on women and girls, TWE provides education and support promoting resilience, healing, and restoration. WYSE LEADers and partnering student organization Alpha Omega Epsilon provide relevant and engaging, girl-centered STEM activities for middle and high school girls once a week throughout the semester. From coding, to circuitry, to mechanical engineering, activities not only building confidence and comfort around STEM topics and activities, but relationships are built as STEM mentors return throughout the semester.

WYSE Trail Blazers

This is a collaboration of students in WYSEWIE, and MEP. WYSE Summer Camps serve hundreds of students each summer, a growing proportion of which receives Trail Blazer scholarships for campers from historically excluded populations in STEM. This project aims (1) to increase our understanding of the role engineering summer camps play in decisions to pursue STEM majors and careers, and (2) to develop special programming for scholarship recipients to build community and encourage the pursuit of STEM careers. This work was funded in part by the Institute for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access in the Grainger College of Engineering, University of Illinois (Grant #: GIANT2021-08).

 

PEAR STEM 

PEAR STEM is a collaboration of Champaign-Urbana (C-U) community organizations and initiatives, the Chicago Pre-College Science and Engineering Program, and University of Illinois (UIUC) Psychology and Engineering faculty as well as specialists in public engagement and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teaching and learning. The overarching goal is to address inequities in preparation for STEM careers among K-12 students, with efforts to identify how to optimize preparation among Black and Latinx students.