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Our mission is to provide children living in underserved areas with compelling opportunities to discover new life skills and explore the worlds of science.
The raw talents and potential gifts from children living in our most underserved communities remain a growing and untapped national resource. Poverty, gangs, drugs, violence, and early mortality steal away these children's lives, their dreams, their need to feel and be safe, and a significant portion of our national talent pool.
In order to compete in a constantly changing technological landscape and global economy, the U.S. must find and prepare its best minds to ready a next generation of scientists, science teachers, engineers, and leaders. ISOG strives to do just that by
helping to level the playing field so that all children, regardless of their race or life circumstances, have an opportunity to bring their genius into the world.
ISOG's after-school program, intended to spark children's desire and curiosity to learn through a strong science curriculum, serves primarily low-income Hispanic and African American children. Three program components make this initiative particularly unique and impactful:
1) ISOG collaborated with the nationally acclaimed Science Olympiad program to adapt their curriculum for elementary school students and is now consulting with renowned elementary science education experts around the country to refine this curriculum and incorporate new projects on ecology and financial literacy, the environment, and nutrition. ISOG uses this unique, hands-on science curriculum during weekly, 90 minute, after-school sessions to engage students in learning in a fun way while encouraging problem-solving and strategic thinking.
2) ISOG takes place at public schools in some of Chicago's poorest and most underserved neighborhoods, such as East Garfield Park and Pilsen.
3) Uniquely, ISOG recruits and trains two-person, ethnically diverse, Science Mentor teams from local university science programs to facilitate the program, along with the appointed science teacher at each school. Many of these exceptional college students grew up in the neighborhoods they are returning home to serve, and thus have a unique ability to connect with the children and serve as powerful positive role models.
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