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.
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!
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.