Program Instructor, Kaela Gerald, writes about the Ethics Bowl

October 17, 2014 author: No comments

Kaela’s cluster preparing for the Ethics Bowl.

Right. Wrong. It Depends. To me, these make up the three way junction at the end of the ethics road. On this journey, I believe the scholars found a better definition for ethics and learned why it was important.

Ethics has to do with what is right or wrong.” “Ethics has to do with people’s moral beliefs.”  “Ethics consist of standard behaviors that is accepted by society.” These are some answers I got from my cluster as we prepared for the annual Ethics Bowl that took place during the second week of the program. The Ethics Bowl is an exciting, competitive tournament aimed to model the best methods of reasoning in practical and professional ethics. The scholars gained a valuable experience of analyzing two cases and participating in an ethical discussion. One of the things that stood out to me, was how the Ethics Bowl was different to a debate. The scholars were asked to take a position on 1)Whether nations, especially those who contribute the most to pollution, should be required to take in climate change refugees from regions facing rising sea levels and 2) The creation of a new charter for a Finnish School of Chicago, as a member of the Chicago Board of Education. Unlike a debate, the scholars took part in more of a back and forth discussion in the support of their positions. This required listening to key points of the opposing team and not only disagreeing politely, but acknowledging the points of agreement. In addition, asking intuitive questions for clarification and support.

I admired the format, rules, and process of the Ethics Bowl. It allows one to be aware and to give thoughtful consideration to different viewpoints. To be successful, having a plethora of different viewpoints is essential to deciding the most ethical conclusion. During the preparation time, I asked each scholar in my cluster to state their position with reasons, for both cases. We then collectively decided on pros and cons for each case. These tactics seemed to aid the scholars tremendous as the competed. They were able to give insightful responses, specific to ethical considerations asked by their opponents and the judges.

The theme, “STEM Diplomacy” was definitely present throughout the Ethics Bowl. Scholars learned how to disagree diplomatically and with respect, a life skill they should always carry with them.


Kaela Gerald - Program Instructor

Kaela Gerald

Kaela is pursuing a Co-terminal degree in Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. She is from the Caribbean Island of St. Lucia.

Kaela enjoys going to the beach, dancing and cooking. She hopes to make a difference in the world through advances in science and engineering, mentoring and helping others. As a program instructor, for summer 2014, she felt truly inspired by all the IIT Boeing Scholars and staff.


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Welcome New Program Coordinator – Luke Chitwood!

October 7, 2014 author: No comments


My name is Luke Chitwood, and I’m thrilled to be writing today as the newest member of the team at the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy.

I’m a recent transplant to Chicago from New York City, but originally from Little Rock, Arkansas. My wife Ashley and I relocated to Chicago to be closer to our families, and because we found the city a diverse and fascinating place. Through several changes in scenery, I’ve maintained my love of the buttery, cheesy, fried goodness that is most Southern cooking (no meat though, I’ve been a pescetarian since my junior year in college). To make up for that, I stay busy biking, climbing, doing yoga, and occasionally forgoing the CTA and walking several miles home instead.



Before moving to Chicago, I taught high school science in Brooklyn and the Bronx for several years, and I had the opportunity to serve as my school’s college counselor. I’d always been passionate about empowering students to succeed, meet their potential, and access the opportunities they deserve. As a college counselor, I got to exercise those passions and see students achieve incredible results in finding and attending schools that fit them well.

The college admissions process is intimidating but also rewarding. When you apply to college, you get to craft a narrative, telling a story of success and personal growth – your story. With the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy, I’ll get to focus on drawing out each scholar’s unique skills, talents, and interests. We work within the context of STEM, building our scholars’ capacity to pursue the most exciting, fastest growing, and cutting-edge fields. Schools want scholars like ours – sharp, insightful, brilliant, creative, and technically adept. I get to help scholars identify the schools and courses of study that fit them best. I can’t think of a more inspiring or fulfilling way to spend my time.

I left NYC incredibly inspired by my students, and I’m confident I’ll find even greater inspiration here with the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy. Scholars, you have the skills, talents, and drive to make incredible contributions and change in your neighborhoods, your city, and your world. I’m here to help.

A few random facts about me:

  • For fun, I love visiting new neighborhoods and exploring the city where I live – especially if there’s an opportunity to try new and interesting food. Any recommendations on your favorite places to eat will be gratefully and enthusiastically received. I also enjoy cooking almost as much as I like eating, and I’m always trying to imitate something I’ve tried in a restaurant or seen someone else make.
  • Whether working, eating, or cooking, you’ll also likely find me with a cup of coffee in my hand. My mom introduced me to coffee when I was 1, because she wanted someone to drink coffee with. I have no memory of life without coffee, and that’s just fine with me.
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The IIT Boeing Scholars Academy: Affecting the changes we want to see in the world, one scholar at a time.

October 2, 2014 author: No comments

Program Instructor, Josh German, shares his experience of the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy:


Josh German and his scholar cluster

Have you ever gotten involved in an activity or championed a cause to make a difference in the world? We all have those things we do to have an effect or change the world in some way or form. But sometimes we face the challenge of not immediately seeing the impact of our efforts in the society. People are very different and some of us are patient enough to see this change come to life in years to come but others really want to see that change happen now. This impatience in itself is not a weakness but just a thirst to enjoy the gratification of your efforts. There are hardly many great things we do in life that reward us with some relatively instant result or effect but the Boeing Scholar Academy program is not one. To write about the lessons learned and accomplishments of this program on the staff members and scholars would be quite a masterpiece with pages and pages of unique anecdotes. I am not writing a master piece today but just a small window into my experience of tapping into that embodiment of that change we want to see in the future.

For some reason, I have always had peers say “I want to be like you when I grow up” and I have never really understood why they said that and maybe I never will but I always laughed it off as a joke “Really guys? I still use my eating gestures to differentiate between my right and left directions”. But none of those previous utterances could prepare me for, a scholar saying “Josh, you are my role model and I want you to know that”. I still consider myself as a growing adult who tries to put a comic spin on any situation and with many more years of experience to come but that statement basically allowed me rethink my whole identity as person and my stage in life today. And even though I still try to tell lame jokes, it gave me a sense of responsibility that could no longer allow for me to just be careless in my ways, words and actions because I knew from that point I was being looked up to as a point of reference by most of my scholars. My words and action can no longer be that of a young college student but that of a leader I wanted to see in the future. My actions had to mirror that of an advocate for the changes I envision in a future of a very diplomatic, innovative and selfless population. Basically everything from how you associate with others to how you handle challenging situations makes an impression on the scholars.  The great sense of gratification came from the opportunity to watch the scholars develop over the 4 week summer period, and with each new day you noticed a gradual birth of a role model within them as they soak up your knowledge, and that to me was all the instant gratification I needed to press on each new day. I have always wondered how I would make impact on the world, but I have come to realize that it is such a big task that I alone cannot achieve. But with the opportunity to be a role model for these scholars, I could envision my actions and that of other instructors shaping the forefront of the future by affecting it from the roots. By acting as a role model to each scholar, we were creating an army of role models that can embody principles and values to affect the world positively.

Josh is a third year engineering student pursuing his Bachelors and Master’s degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at IIT through the Co-terminal program. He is from West Africa Nigeria, and is motivated to be an engineer who will inspire change through his career and deeds. As a program instructor for the Boeing Academy Scholars this summer 2014, he had the opportunity to impact scholars positively while being inspired by their uniqueness.

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Program Instructor, Ryan Kamphuis, Writes About LGPs

September 19, 2014 author: No comments

Ryan Kamphuis talking to scholars during the LGP Mentor Match Event.


One of the unique opportunities afforded to IIT Boeing Scholars is the chance to work on a Leadership Grant Project (LGP). In an LGP, a team of rising Juniors comes together to address an issue that faces their community.

During the Summer Program our scholars began their LGP journey by identifying community issues that they are interested in taking on and narrowing these many ideas down to eight projects they will work on. This year our Scholars chose to tackle topics ranging from community violence to high school dropout rates to responsible use of social media. Our scholars chose these topics over the course of several workshops which had them conducting research into the issues that face their communities. Many of the issues our scholars took on hit close to home; they’ve been personally affected by these issues and wanted to step up to make sure things are better for future generations. It was inspiring to see the strength shown by these scholars as they began to address these issues. This determination to improve their communities gave me a real sense of hope for the future of Chicago. These fantastic students have the ability to touch many, and inspire many more to carry on their work. It is truly amazing.

In the coming weeks, our LGP students will partner with community leaders and mentors who will guide them through their project and help them achieve their maximum potential – I truly can’t wait to see where these scholars go!


Ryan is a fifth-year Physics Education student at Illinois Institute of Technology and was an Instructor for the 2014 IIT Boeing Scholars Academy Summer Program. In his free time, Ryan mentors several local FIRST Robotics teams and is involved in the leadership of Illinois FIRST. In the future, Ryan hopes to teach high school physics in Chicago and help inspire the next generation of science and technology leaders.


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The Final Week of the Summer Session

July 22, 2014 author: No comments

It is hard to believe that the 2014 summer session of the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy is already over! The Scholars have accomplished a lot these past four weeks and we are so proud of the growth we have seen in all of them.

IMG_0492The Scholars started off this week by taking a DiSC Personality Profile to help them communicate their working styles to others as well as to better understand themselves and how others may perceive them. We hope that by reflecting on their results and discussing them with their peers that they will have gained tools that will help them express themselves better in future interactions.

In the afternoon Juniors and Seniors split into separate sessions so that the Juniors Leadership Grant Project (LGP) groups could focus on refining their problem statements and creating their project pitch for their event in the evening. During this time the Seniors were able to attend a resume-writing workshop and spend time in a computer lab working on writing their resumes.

We had two special events Monday evening: Leadership Grant Project Mentor Match and 1:1 Essay Help, to which we welcomed 18 potential project mentors and assistant project mentors and 20 volunteer essay readers. If you or someone you know are interested in volunteering with us in the future, check out our Volunteer! page and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for special announcements about upcoming opportunities!

LGP Mentor Match

LGP Mentor Match

1:1 Essay Help

1:1 Essay Help

Our Leadership Grant Project Mentor Match event introduced the Juniors’ LGP groups to potential mentors and assistant mentors whom they will be working with for the next 10 months. It also gave the Scholars an opportunity to practice their public speaking and communication skills outside of a classroom setting. In the next couple weeks LGP groups will be paired with their mentors and continue to develop their projects.

Volunteers were also on campus to help critique the Seniors’ college essays during the 1:1 Essay Help event. Our staff is always willing to help our Scholars write their essays, but it is also important that the Scholars receive feedback from another adult (who does not already know how fantastic they are!) to better simulate the impression their essay will be giving to college admissions counselors. We hope that this event provided the seniors with added insight and a better understanding of the overall effect that their essay will have on future readers.

IMG_0553For the past two weeks pairs of Seniors have also been working on presentations about a specific college. On Tuesday and Wednesday mornings our Seniors gave college research presentations to their peers and our program staff. These presentations were intended to both give our Seniors experience doing research and giving presentations as well as to introduce all of our Scholars to a variety of different colleges and universities.

Wednesday and Thursday afternoons the Scholars worked on their final deliverables and presentations for their StS partners/clients. Three of our StS project groups went to their sites Thursday afternoon: the Analyzing the Universe: Citizen Science group presented to their clients at Adler Planetarium, the Nature in the City: Brookfield Zoo group presented to their partners from the Chicago Zoological Society and the Forest Preserve, and the Designing a  Better World: Architecture for Humanity group presented their work to community members in Humboldt Park.

On Friday morning, our very last day with all of the Scholars on campus together for the summer session, Scholars participated in the “Most Clusterrific” competition. For the competition, each cluster of Scholars prepared a short performance that represents the spirit and personality of their cluster. These performances included skits, original songs, dance routines, tributes, and a whole lot of silly string!

In the afternoon, the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy invited all of our Scholars’ families and friends to campus for Visitor’s Day. All of our special guests, Scholars, and staff heard one last time about our summer theme: STEM Diplomacy from Dr. Stuart Patterson and Dr. Seebany Datta-Barua (our faculty mentors). They were also given an overview of all of the events and exciting field trips the Scholars participated in throughout the summer session by Program Director, Megan Mozina and received a sneak peek at the next steps for the upcoming months for both our Juniors participating in Leadership Grant Projects and our Seniors as they begin the college process and prepare for the Onsite Admissions Forum.

IMG_0545Each Serving through STEM project group was also given time to present the work they have completed over the past two weeks and share what they have learned with the visitors and their fellow Scholars. We were very inspired by all of the hard work they accomplished in such a short time.  We are excited to see the Juniors apply the skills they learned these past two weeks to their LGPs in the next ten months. We also hope that the Seniors will be able to use these experiences to not only enhance their college applications and interviews but also to help them wherever their futures may take them.

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Exploring the Possibilities – College, Serving through STEM, and Leadership Grant Projects

July 18, 2014 author: No comments
Scholars met with Admissions Representatives from 64 colleges and universities at the College Fair

Scholars met with Admissions Representatives at the College Fair

This week was a whirlwind of fun events at the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy. We had a college fair, field trips, the launch of Serving through STEM (StS) projects, college essay workshops, Leadership Grant Project (LGP) workshops, and then we capped it all off with college visits on Friday!

On Monday our Scholars were joined by the University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars for a college fair on our campus – a list of the colleges who attended and took part in our college panel’s can be found in this post.

Our Scholars (along with some of their parents!) met with a variety of great college admissions representatives and were able to request more information from the colleges that they were most interested in. We encourage all of our Scholars to follow up with the admissions representatives they met at the fair – especially at the colleges they are considering applying to.

Overall, we thought it was a great event and we hope that it will propel our Scholars’ college search and application process!

On Tuesday Scholars were assigned to one of seven different Serving through STEM projects and were introduced to the project they would be working on for the majority of the next two weeks.

For each Serving through STEM project, the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy works with a local partner organization or client to design and carry out activities that require our Scholars to contribute to a project in the real world and to put together an assigned deliverable.

This summer’s projects include designing a public space, developing a tool to track visitor traffic and interest, planning and implementing an outdoor composting system, and developing mobile applications.

The UFarm StS Project explored the hoop house and helped to harvest produce

The UFarm StS Project explored the hoop house and helped to harvest produce

Scholars map out the plan for their StS project and work through it as a group.

Scholars mapped out the plan for their StS project and work through it as a group.











Each Serving through STEM group embarked on a field trip related to their project on Wednesday of this week:

  • Scholars who are working in the Applications: Developing for Social Good StS toured the Civic Lab – a creative co-workspace in the West Loop with the goal of creating and deploying tools that will advance civic literacy.
  • The Shedd Aquarium Teen Learning Lab hosted a field trip for the Analyzing the Universe: Citizen Science at Adler Planetarium StS project in order to help them with their overall goal of increasing teen involvement in Zooniverse Citizen Science projects.
  • The Designing a Better World: Architecture for Humanity StS project visited their project site and did some work in a local community garden in order to become familiar with the overall goal for the space they will design for the community of Humboldt Park.
  • Scholars who are working on the project for the Nature in the City: Brookfield Zoo StS took a field trip to the Brookfield Zoo and to the Little Red Schoolhouse to collect initial observations in order to inform their project to improve traffic flow and visitor participation.
  • Exploring the Impact of STEM Research: IIT Biomedical Engineering REU StS Project went on a field trip to the International Museum of Surgical Science and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and learned about the history of medical science and careers in the medical field.
  • Rebuilding Exchange – an organization and warehouse in Chicago with the goal of creating a market for reclaimed building materials and teaching people the necessary skills to deconstruct and reuse materials – hosted the Sustainability: Activism and Initiatives StS project group for a tour and explanation of their passion for recycling and reuse.
  • The Composting and Urban Agriculture: UFarm-IIT StS project spent their field trip day visiting three different community gardens! Their first stop was Iron Street Farm, followed by Roosevelt Square Farm, and Grant Park Garden. The Scholars focused on the use of compost at these three gardens since they will be developing a new composting system for the UFarm at IIT.

A huge thank you from the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy to all of the organizations who hosted our StS field trips!

Scholars visited Civic Lab on Wednesday for their StS Field Trip

Scholars visited Civic Lab on Wednesday for their StS Field Trip

Though StS Projects took up most of the Scholars’ afternoons they also took part in two other important activities: Leadership Grant Project (LGP) planning workshops for the Juniors and College Essay workshops for the Seniors. They will put their work to the test next week as the LGPs participate in a Mentor Match event and the Seniors bring their essays to a 1:1 Essay Help event.

We wrapped up the week with college visits to Purdue University or Knox College and Monmouth College! Scholars arrived early Friday morning at 6 am to board buses for the college visits. Despite the early wake up, Scholars were energized and excited to be visiting colleges and exploring the different options available to them in obtaining a higher education.


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Ethics, Issues, and Challenges

July 14, 2014 author: Comments off

This week our Scholars were immersed in discussions about ethics, violence, bullying, food safety, and environmental stewardship – many of these topics were chosen based on the inspiring essays that Scholars wrote for their program applications.

Teams confer to create their argument against opening a Finnish Charter School of Chicago

Teams confer to create their argument against opening a Finnish Charter School of Chicago

Scholars wrote out pros and cons in preparation for the Ethics Bowl competition.

Scholars wrote out pros and cons in preparation for the Ethics Bowl competition.

During our Ethics Bowl competition Scholars were broken up into teams of 8 to engage in ethical debates. Kelly Laas, a Librarian for the IIT Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, created two cases specifically for the IIT Boeing Scholars.

The first case focused on climate change refugees and asked Scholars to determine whether countries, especially those who contribute the most to pollution, should be required to take in environmental migrants from regions facing immediate threats to their livelihood due to rising sea levels or other effects of climate change.

The second focused on a local issue – the creation of charter schools in Chicago to achieve better educational outcomes in the areas of reading, mathematics, and science. Specifically, the Scholars were asked to envision themselves as members of the Chicago Board of Education and present compelling arguments for or against the creation of a new charter for a Finnish School of Chicago based on the Finnish education model which has demonstrated results of higher learning outcomes.

At the end of the day judges averaged their scores and gave awards to the teams who presented the most compelling ethical arguments during the Ethics Bowl.

Scholars analyzing City of Chicago crime data during a Project Challenge

Scholars analyzing City of Chicago crime data during a Project Challenge

Issues Forums served as introductions to each of the Project Challenges this week. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning professionals came to speak about Issues that they are passionate about.

On Tuesday Scholars heard a presentation from Luis Larco, an IIT Student who does research for the Chicago Police Department, developing new methods to predict crimes and analyze gang activities through social network analysis and machine learning. Scholars were then able to apply what they learned by making a hypothesis about a specific crime trend and analyzing data to determine whether their hypothesis was correct.

Students represent the policy interests of various international countries and organizations during the Mercury Game

Students represent the policy interests of various international countries and organizations during the Mercury Game

Wednesday morning the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy welcomed a special guest speaker from the State Department – Dr. Gautham Venogupalan a foreign affairs officer who works on science and technology policy issues for the United States government. Dr. Venogupalan spoke at our morning Issues Forum alongside IIT Professor of Environmental Engineering Dr. Paul Anderson. Both men did a fantastic job introducing the Scholars to the topics of scientific policy and environmental issues in preparation for their afternoon Project Challenge: The Mercury Game.

Our final day of Issues Forums/Project Challenges centered around the topic of food. In the morning Scholars heard from three different speakers: Wendy Irwin, CEO of The Yellow Tractor Project; Todd Diel, Project Coordinator of Education and Safety for the IIT Institute for Food Safety and Health; and Alexandra Curatolo, Owner of Belli’s Local Foods Market & Juice Bar.

They then were able to spend their afternoon mapping the pathway food travels and doing a food lab experiment!

Dr. Lydia Patton joined Scholars for lunch after her inspiring speech Friday morning

Dr. Lydia Patton joined Scholars for lunch after her inspiring speech Friday morning

Dr. Lydia Patton gave a thrilling speech to the Scholars Friday morning – encouraging all of them to realize their own potential and believe in themselves – something they would all be able to practice during Scholar Skill Share in the afternoon.

Scholar Skill Share is a favorite activity here at the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy. Not only is it a great way for Scholars to practice their leadership and presentation skills, but it is also really, really fun. This summer’s skill shares included guitar lessons, volleyball, origami, yoga, and more!

A huge shout out to all of the wonderful family members of our Scholars who came out despite the rain for Family Service Day! It was a pleasure meeting all of you and we sincerely hope you had a good time at your service site.

service day 2

service day

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College Fair on Monday, July 14, 2014!

July 6, 2014 author: No comments

Dear Scholars, Family, and Friends:

We hope you are looking forward to connecting with amazing colleges from around the country at our annual College Day event, to be held on Monday, July 14, 4:30-8:30pm, in IIT’s Hermann Hall (3241 S. Federal)! This event will include:

  • 4:30-5:30pm — Dinner for parents/guardians and for Scholars (separate locations)
  • 5:30-6:30pm — Q&A Panel Discussion with College Admissions Representatives
    Panel for Scholars in Hermann Hall Auditorium
    Panel for Parents in the Hermann Hall Alumni Lounge (space is limited; first-come, first-serve)
  • 6:30-8:30pm — College Fair featuring 60+ Institutions

For the third year, we are hosting our college panels and fair in collaboration with the University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars Program, which also serves high-achieving Chicago high school students. We feel honored not only for the opportunity to collaborate with these valued partners but especially to do so in service of such inspiring students!

College Fair 2013

College Fair 2013

The following 64 institutions will be attending our college fair this year. Those appearing in bold are also serving on our Q&A Panel for Students about college admissions; and those appearing in italics are also serving on our Q&A Panel for Parents about college admissions. Both panels immediately precede the fair and occur simultaneously from 5:30-6:30pm.

  • Amherst College
  • Boston University
  • Bowdoin College
  • Bucknell University
  • Butler University
  • Carleton College
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Coe College
  • Colgate University
  • College Greenlight
  • Columbia College Chicago
  • Davidson College
  • Dominican University
  • Eastern Illinois University
  • Eureka College
  • George Washington University
  • Grinnell College
  • Harvard College
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Indiana University Bloomington
  • Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Knox College
  • Lehigh University
  • Luther College
  • Marquette University
  • Miami University (Ohio)
  • Michigan Technological University
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • National Louis University
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Northwestern University
  • Pitzer College
  • Princeton University
  • Purdue University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
  • Rice University
  • Roosevelt University
  • Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Seton Hall University
  • Shimer College
  • St. Olaf College
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Evansville
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Illinois Springfield
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Valparaiso University
  • Vanderbilt University
  • VanderCook College of Music
  • Villanova University
  • Wake Forest University
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Wellesley College
  • Wheaton College
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)
  • Xavier University
  • Yale University

Additionally, through their participation in our program, seniors in the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy have the opportunity to participate in the Chicago Scholars Onsite Admissions Forum. The Onsite is a live college admissions event that is designed to ensure that students are matched with a set of “good-fit” college options as they jump-start the admissions process — putting Scholars ahead of traditional admission cycles, relieving anxiety (particularly for first-generation college students), and freeing them up to concentrate on academics during their senior year. By early September, participating students submit completed applications to five attending colleges, and colleges come to the Onsite event in late October prepared to meet with students to discuss their applications and often to admit them onsite. More than 500 students (including 22 IIT Boeing Scholars) interviewed for admission to more than 80 colleges as part of the 2013 Onsite ForumIn preparation for this year’s Onsite, seniors may wish to review this list of participating colleges, several of which will also be attending our fair on July 14.

Finally, some day in the not-too-distant-future you dear young Scholars will all grow up and move on to attend the college of your choice. We just hope that, when you do, you still come back for alumni events, like this bowling party we held just a few weeks ago!

2014 Senior Send-Off at Lucky Strike!

2014 Senior Send-Off at Lucky Strike!


We look forward to helping each of you through the college admissions process and to achieve admission to the college of your dreams!


Kathy Rhee_Bioweb

Katherine Rhee
Program Coordinator

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The Summer has begun!

July 3, 2014 author: No comments

On Monday we welcomed to the IIT campus our biggest group of Scholars ever! The first week of our Summer Session has flown by and we are excited to see what we all will learn and accomplish together in the next 3 weeks.

Scholars competing in Cluster Olympics

Scholars competing in Cluster Olympics

Monday morning Scholars were welcomed to the Summer Session by Program Director, Megan Mozina, and Program Coordinator, Kathy Rhee, before breaking off to meet their Program Instructor and the other members of their Cluster.

In the afternoon our returning Faculty Advisor, Dr. Stuart Patterson gave Scholars and Summer Staff an introduction to the 2014 theme: STEM Diplomacy.

After learning all about STEM Diplomacy, the Scholars came back together for a favorite event, Cluster Olympics, where they competed in various team challenges.

On Tuesday Scholars participated in a Design Thinking Workshop led by Dr. David Gatchell that taught them observation techniques which they then applied in various transportation hubs throughout the city of Chicago including Oglivie Transportation Center, the Clark/Lake CTA station, and the Divvy Bike station at Millennium Park. They presented their observations at the end of the day and proposed ways that the transportation hubs could be better designed.


IMG_0002 (1)


Scholars were immersed in a day long introduction to college on Wednesday by attending presentations such as “Major? Minor? Graduate School?” with IIT Professor Carlo Segre, “College 101″ with College Advising Program Intern Anne Pugh, and a variety of “Explore Your Major” sessions hosted by IIT Professors and Graduate Students from a variety of different disciplines. IIT Boeing Scholar Alumni Cyrenthia Clark, Tyre Dukes, and Samantha Tobias also stopped by to share words of wisdom and advice for the new cohort of scholars.

Scholars get a quick introduction to Chemistry while conducting a laboratory experiment

Scholars get a quick introduction to Chemistry while conducting a laboratory experiment

On the last day of week 1, before we all went off to enjoy our long holiday weekends our Scholars and Summer Staff went off to Iron Oaks Environmental Learning Center for a day of adventure and team-building.

We have gotten off to a great start this week and we are all excited to experience the next 3 weeks of the 2014 Summer Session.


Have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!

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Get Involved (Summer 2014)!

June 17, 2014 author: No comments

Calling all Chicagoland professionals! As we kick off the fourth year of the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy, we are also seeking enthusiastic volunteers from all different industries and fields in Chicago. Here are a few ways to make a difference in the lives of some very bright, high-achieving and diverse youth!

As part of our program, teams of Scholars propose Leadership Grant Projects (LGPs) to promote positive change in their communities and awareness of STEM fields and issues. Last year, from water collection to healthy eating, and from bicycle safety to LGBTQ awareness, no issue was left unaddressed by the LGP teams who worked with seventeen project mentors and various IIT faculty.

Scholars brainstorming potential Leadership Grant Projects (LGPs).

Scholars brainstorming potential Leadership Grant Projects (LGPs).

What are Project Mentors? To support our Scholars in this work, we recruit a talented and dedicated cadre of Project Mentors—adult professionals who volunteer to help a group develop and implement their LGP over the course of 10 months (July 2014-April 2015). At minimum, Project Mentors should have a bachelor’s degree and two years of professional work experience, ideally including project management and public speaking. Experience in mentoring or otherwise supervising high school students is a plus.

What are roles and expectations for a Project Mentor? Each Project Mentor is expected to volunteer an average of 10 hours per month, typically meeting with their group in person once each month (at a program-sponsored workshop or independently at a library or café) and remaining an occasional resource between meetings (via email, phone, and/or social media). Project Mentors help their group identify objectives, create a budget and a project plan, mediate conflicts, and find outside resources. Throughout these interactions, Project Mentors draw upon their own experiences to play an invaluable part in fostering and inspiring Scholars’ continued intellectual, academic, and personal progress and growth.
**Prospective mentors are strongly encouraged to attend our Mentor Match event on Monday, July 21, from 5-7pm.**

How do I apply? For more information check out our Project Mentor page, and complete this application.

If you know someone who would be interested, please forward this on! We are looking to select Project Mentors by mid-July, and we’re counting on your help to do it.



Other Ways to Get Involved:

SUMMER FIELD TRIP VOLUNTEERS - (July 3 and/or July 16)
Eligibility: College students (18+) and older. We are looking for individuals who would like to chaperone our high school Scholars on half-day (4 hours) or day-long (8 hours) field trips to local companies, community-based organizations, incubators, universities, and more as they enrich their minds and educate themselves about possible careers, industries, and life paths. Chaperones will be responsible for aiding Program Instructors (summer program staff) or IIT staff in getting students to and around field trip locations in a timely manner. Lunch and transportation costs will be covered by the program.


CAREER EXPLORATION PANEL - (Monday, July 14, 3:30-5pm)
Eligibility: Adult professionals, faculty, or graduate students. We welcome Chicagoland professionals from diverse fields — from social work to computer science, education to marketing, engineering to law — to share their experiences with our students on our Career Exploration Panel discussion.


Eligibility: College students and older. We welcome volunteers who are comfortable reading and providing constructive criticism on short essays written by high school students who are preparing to apply to college. Volunteers will work one-on-one with a student for the duration of the session, reading drafts of college admissions essays and discussing them. A short training will be given to volunteers.


Eligibility: College students and older. We welcome volunteers to help our rising seniors each prepare five college applications. Volunteers will read and help students revise college application essays, give feedback about their descriptions of extracurricular activities, help students research different schools, and give general college preparation advice. We will hold multiple 2-3 hour workshops, at times to be announced, throughout August and early September. A short training will be given to volunteers.


If you are interested in any of these summer volunteer opportunities, please complete our volunteer application form to express interest.

As always, if you have any questions, please get in touch! We are more than happy to hear about your ideas for involvement or to discuss how you can best help our program. I can be reached at or 312.567.3965.

Don’t forget to check our blog throughout the summer – we will have lots to share in the upcoming weeks!

Thank you for your help and collaboration in making this a wonderful year for all our Scholars!


Kathy Rhee_Bioweb

Katherine Rhee
Program Coordinator

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