Nestled within the Jandon Center has been STEM Outreach, an initiative that has afforded Smith students countless hours of experiential educational opportunities throughout communities of western Massachusetts. In an effort to expand our vision, the STEM team has evolved from science, technology, engineering and math to now include the arts, thereby creating a newly formed lens by which our offerings will become more diverse and holistic.
"Several kids were excited when we talked about engineering, so I think we may have gotten them to start thinking about that as a possible career path, which was very exciting to me."
—STEM Teaching Fellow
STEAM Outreach Programs
Our evolving STEAM initiative will continue to include on- and off-campus opportunities, and our connections with learning partners will span a multitude of communities, including K–12 educational institutions through to adult learning organizations. We are also widening our reach to include essential partners focused on humanitarian, social justice, and environmental awareness efforts.
The Science Center AEMES Scholar
Working with the science and technology outreach coordinator, the AEMES scholar researches and develops science outreach activities and researches reasons for the loss of interest in STEM in the middle grades.
January Science Teaching Fellowship Program
Undergraduates are introduced to educational pedagogy, lesson planning, classroom management and standards in preparation for an intensive one-week program during interterm. Selected undergraduates work in pairs, with guidance from the Science Center outreach coordinator, Smith science faculty and K–8 teachers. They research, develop, practice and teach lessons in a range of sciences.
Science Center Early Research Associates
Associates develop lessons and activities to test in local schools or in GED programs. Once the activity is refined, the associate works to develop a classroom loaner kit that can be used in the community or with a group visiting campus.
Smith College STEM Ambassadors
Smith undergraduates looking for short-term leadership opportunities can sign up to deliver science and engineering activities for single or multiple sessions. Throughout the year, local schools, after-school programs and adult education centers request Smith visits to their institutions or STEM field trips to the Smith campus. Volunteers, with some guidance from the coordinator, work in teams to plan and develop specific activities that respond to requests by community partners. Program examples include Girls Who Code and the Girl Scout LEGO Robotics Team.
Summer Science & Engineering Program for High School Girls
The Summer Science & Engineering Program (SSEP) is a month-long summer enrichment program that brings approximately 100 girls from around the world to Smith College to actively participate in science and engineering alongside Smith faculty doing hands-on research. Since 1990, nearly 1,800 girls have participated in this program.
Student Scientists Outreach Program
The Student Scientists Outreach Program focuses on the use of the zebrafish model system to take advantage of its beautiful and captivating embryology, the many genetic and cellular approaches, fast embryonic development and its total accessibility for assaying environmental manipulation. We primarily target teacher training with the zebrafish, and tailor its use to the common core objectives and teacher goals. This program's success is in part due to the fact that we are not adding on curriculum to teachers, but providing opportunities to deliver the same curriculum with more engaging and inquiry based methods. We are currently working with 10 teachers in five school districts.