STEM Club/Senior STEM Club & Science Fair Mentoring Program for Grades 7&8
Research shows that educational attainment is highly correlated with economic status, and is the largest predictor of health status. Every year for the past two decades Mass General has inspired hundreds of Boston youth who are interested in health and science careers with educational activities and employment opportunities. MGH is committed to expanding the horizons of these young people as a health improvement strategy as well as a workforce development strategy. The MGH Center for Community Health Improvement provides 465 youth (grades 3 through college) with academic, life, and career skills that expand and enhance their educational and career options through activities related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). These activities enable exploration and skill development through experiences and relationships related to STEM subjects and careers, life sciences and health and wellness.
Specific program elements for Elementary and Middle School students include STEM Club, Senior STEM Club and the Science Fair Mentoring Program for Grades 7&8.
Grades 3 – 5 - STEM Clubs aim to develop excitement and engagement in STEM subjects, build confidence in students’ abilities to succeed in these subjects and increase exposure to STEM careers. Fun activities such as hands-on science exploration, strengthen the students’ intellectual abilities and critical thinking skills, their sense of belonging and the mastery of their future. Additionally, the MGH Multicultural Affairs Office offers guest speakers who are physicians of color-in-training to inspire and motivate students. Clubs are hosted at after-school programs and/or community organizations, such as the Boys & Girls Club in Roxbury and Charlestown, and the Richard J. Murphy School in Dorchester.
Grades 6- 8- Senior STEM Club, hosted at Boys & Girls Club and the Murphy School, continue the engagement with hands-on science and greater exposure to technology. In the Science Fair Mentoring Program for Grades 7&8, MGH mentors and the Journal of Emerging Investigators work with James P. Timilty Middle School students in Roxbury on science fair projects from concept to completion for more than 20 years (deciding on a question that could be answered through scientific investigation, setting up experiments, documenting observations, collecting and analyzing data and preparing oral presentations to defend their investigation). Mentors and students may choose to extend their relationship through our partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay. There is also a career exploration initiative for select graduating eighth graders that provides paid summer internships at MGH during which they participate in Summer Fit, a health, wellness and fitness curriculum.
During the 2011-2012 school year:
- Fifty-four students were matched with fifty-eight mentors and co-mentors from Mass General for the MGH Science Fair Mentoring Program.
- Students were surveyed at the beginning of the school year and again at the end of the Science Fair program. In the post-program survey, an increased number of students felt a sense of competence in science and the presence of a supportive adult as compared to the pre-program survey.
- For mentors, the program was equally satisfying. At the completion of the program, 94.1 percent of the mentors reported that they would consider mentoring again.
MGH/James P. Timilty Middle School PartnershipJoan McCarthy
Phone: 617 724-3210