Who We Support

We support interdisciplinary projects that explore the intersection of science with art, music, design and more. We power programs that connect science to peoples’ existing interests and identities, with a focus on traditionally underrepresented communities. Programs we fund include informal education experiences, live science events, media productions and capacity building efforts. Below is a list of current and past projects funded by Science Sandbox.

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APH: Abacus Bee

Friendly contest enabling students with vision loss to gain math skills while working alongside their peers.

Established in 1858 in Louisville, Kentucky, APH is the world’s largest nonprofit organization creating accessible products and programs designed to support the educational, workplace and independent living needs of people who are blind or visually impaired. Though APH serves people of all ages, APH remains exceptionally committed to the educational needs of children in grades K–12.

Historically and currently, people with vision loss are not perceived as individuals who have an interest in science and technology, nor an inclination to pursue educational opportunities or employment in STEM fields. APH believes this to be counterintuitive to APH’s own experience in engaging with this community. They seek to ensure that students with vision loss can contribute to the STEM discussion along with their sighted peers, while learning and growing, both personally and professionally.

In 2022, APH is bringing math-oriented skill development and material awareness sessions to the forefront. A large part of this effort is a new initiative: the APH Abacus Bee. The Bee will be a friendly contest, with the goal of enabling students with vision loss to gain math skills while working alongside their peers.

Abacus training is a critical tool for children with vision loss. APH plans for the Abacus Bee to become an annual event that will help to level the STEM playing field for children who are blind or visually impaired.

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ART±BIO Collaborative

Integrating art, science and nature and broadening participation through public engagement, outreach, activism and public art.

ART±BIO Collaborative is an artist and scientist-led organization that fosters the integration of art, science and nature through novel collaborations, public art, activism, public engagement, education and research. The organization is committed to broadening participation, accessibility and equity in the arts and sciences. It creates cross-disciplinary, inclusive and collaborative opportunities for the leadership and participation of historically excluded, underrepresented and marginalized communities. ART±BIO leads outreach summits, field studies, residencies for artists and scientists of color, disaster relief initiatives, as well as art and science outreach events in public parks, K-12 classrooms, art museums, science museums, community centers, science labs, art studios, academic conferences and festivals. The work utilizes the intersection of the Arts, Biology, Natural History and the Life Sciences as a catalyst for social dialogue and creative exchange of ideas with artists, scientists, and diverse publics.

In 2016, ART±BIO Collaborative created and launched ART±BIO Science Murals in Cambridge, Massachusetts as a powerful medium for science communication, community engagement and informal science learning via public art. In 2022, they created the first Science Mural in El Paso, Texas, along the U.S.-Mexico Border, for their inaugural Sun City Art+Science Festival.  

ART±BIO Collaborative will expand the Science Mural initiative in the Paso del Norte region with an annual series of new murals, public engagement events and bilingual enrichments created in collaboration with local artists, scientists, educators and community organizations. ART±BIO Science Murals in El Paso will depict ecological and biological concepts and research and showcase the stunning flora and fauna of the Chihuahuan Desert. Science Murals will inherently connect and expand the community’s relationship with the local ecology and the life sciences and positively inspire the greater public’s reimagining of who can experience and participate in science and art.

Adult helps group of 8 young kids board a school bus labelled biobus
BioBus and BioBase

Mobile lab that brings hands-on science to underserved students in New York City, with a research lab base on the Lower East Side and in Harlem.

The Simons Foundation supports BioBus’s expansion of its community lab programs, which bring hands-on science to students in Harlem, one of Manhattan’s lowest-income school districts, where test scores lag behind citywide levels. The BioBus mobile lab and the BioBase brick-and-mortar lab offer research-grade laboratory experiences led by scientists, giving students from demographics that are underrepresented in STEM careers the opportunity to excel.

The BioBus parks at a school in the New York City area almost every day of the school year and provides an introductory lab course to K-12 students, typically with six classes and up to 180 students per day. BioBus students gain a more positive attitude toward science and are more likely to see themselves in a STEM career.

At the BioBase, students take in-depth classes and participate in after-school programs and summer camps, studying biological, environmental and materials sciences. By designing their own experiments, they gain a better understanding of the complex web of life. As students progress, some become interns and help to develop curriculum for future students.

BioBus hosts ‘science happy hours,’ in which scientists give talks aimed at a general audience, and attends public events to facilitate connections between scientists and the community.

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Biodesign Challenge

International education program and competition that is shaping the first generation of biodesigners.

Biodesign Challenge (BDC) is an interdisciplinary education program that gives high school and university students the opportunity to envision potential futures using art, design and biotechnology. The program was founded on the belief that science needs art and design to creatively, sustainably and equitably integrate new technologies into society. BDC's goals are to prepare young designers to work with emerging biotech; to build collaborations across art, design, and biology; and to foster public dialogue about the impacts of new biotechnologies.

In 2018, the organization became its own nonprofit, and by 2022, classroom participation had expanded sixfold, reaching 56 classrooms. During BDC, students are first introduced to emerging biotechnologies. They then form teams and create projects that explore how biotech might impact architecture, food, fashion, materials, energy, medicine and more. One team from each classroom is selected to present their project at the Museum of Modern Art at the annual BDC Summit in June. The teams compete for awards that are given by the 60-plus person judging panel. The Summit is open to a public audience as a way to engage the community in conversations about innovation and the social impacts of new technologies.

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Math organization creating pathways for students from low-income and historically marginalized communities to become scientists, mathematicians, engineers and computer scientists.

Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics (BEAM) connects students to advanced mathematical study and aims to build community, resilience and joy in learning to prepare them to excel. BEAM is the only organization in the U.S. providing comprehensive, long-term support to ensure success in advanced math for students from underserved communities. The organization serves more than a thousand students each year in city-based programs in New York City and Los Angeles and nearly 400 in its pilot National Program.

BEAM provides holistic support, including academic preparation where students learn deep and interesting math; social and emotional support so students are confident with STEM identities; a community of peers where students can see themselves reflected; and individualized guidance and support to access and succeed at strong-fit high schools and colleges, summer STEM programs, internships and careers.

Through its Pathway Program, students are supported for up to 10 years, beginning in middle school and continuing through college graduation, with the ultimate goals of ensuring that students can be successful at STEM majors and enter into STEM careers. At BEAM summer programs, students consistently grow in their problem-solving skills, in their stamina for solving difficult problems, and in their interest in math.

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California Academy of Sciences

The renowned Bay Area science museum brings citizen-science programming to after-school clubs across the country.

The California Academy of Sciences is a scientific and educational institution dedicated to exploring, explaining and sustaining life on Earth. Based in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, it is home to a world-class aquarium, planetarium and natural history museum — all under one living roof.

Designed by the academy, the Science Action Club (SAC) is a nationwide out-of-school program for middle school youth that transforms STEM learning. Through games, projects and hands-on activities, SAC participants investigate nature, document their discoveries connect with scientists, and design strategies to protect our planet — all through the lens of citizen science. SAC features three environmental science units focused on bugs, birds and clouds. Each unit includes 12 hands-on activities and citizen-science investigations designed for 60-90-minute club sessions led by educators, as well as a teaching kit and resources for extended learning. SAC sessions are designed to spark wonder and curiosity about the natural world and provide opportunities for youth to participate in STEM learning that is interesting and meaningful to their lives. SAC’s citizen-science projects have global reach and established longevity, and they take youth outdoors to explore their local environment. For example, the Cloud Quest unit connects students to Globe Observer, a project by NASA in which youth observe the sky to help scientists understand the connection between clouds and climate change; Bird Scouts connects to eBird from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology; and Bug Safari leverages academy research on arthropods, using iNaturalist. SAC educator are trained and supported through SAC’s blended learning professional development program. Training provides detailed guidance and support for all SAC activities, as well as background information on scientific content, how to do citizen science, and best practices for teaching STEM in an informal learning environment.

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Chickenshed NYC

Inclusive theater company whose community reflects the vast diversity of the broader population

As a company whose motto is “theatre changing lives,” Chickenshed NYC is committed to theater’s transformative power for individuals and communities. The Chickenshed model is unique in that it brings together members who represent the mosaic of cultures, ethnicities, identities and disabilities that make up our world. Its no-audition policy and inclusive methodology of working with children and youth ensures that each participant can be a successful member of a theatrical community, regardless of differing abilities or societal hurdles.

Chickenshed’s science-influenced artistic program includes immersive musical performances (Adventures from The Shed) for preschoolers (ages 2–5) and their families, and age-grouped theater classes (Chickenshed Players) for children and youth ages 5–18.

Adventures from The Shed leads children through a journey of puppetry, song and movement with elements of American Sign Language (ASL) incorporated into the shows. Children’s love of both the arts and sciences can begin at an early age, and this show exposes young children to basic scientific concepts through the lens of an immersive theatrical experience.

Professionally trained teaching artists guide and empower Chickenshed Players to gain confidence in music, movement and scripting as they hone their performing skills. Chickenshed theatrical programs demonstrate how art and science are not only compatible fields; they can and do enhance each other. Guest scientists help students understand such concepts as biological diversity, habitat, endangered species, astronomy, oceanography and climate change, revealing how theater can be a megaphone for science and how science informs the art that is created.

Chickenshed NYC programs inject STEM elements into its creative practice to create equitable opportunities and explore in more depth what it means to add the “A” to STEM and create STEAM.

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Ciencia Puerto Rico

Organization that advocates for science in Puerto Rico and supports Puerto Rican researchers.

Ciencia Puerto Rico’s online community of more than 11,000 researchers, educators, students and allies work to show that science can empower people to improve their lives and society. In attempt to leverage public interest (as well as curb the spread of rampant misinformation), Ciencia Puerto Rico is working to develop “kits” for Puerto Rican communities to parse through information about the pandemic, as well as properly engage with news sources and information around COVID-19 and more. Ultimately, the hope is that this moment provides an onramp to continued engagement with science for Puerto Rico.

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Critical Ecology Lab

Organization that aims to inspire and deepen the public’s ability to critically think about the social origins of global warming and environmental change.

Critical Ecology Lab (CEL) believes that in order to address the ongoing ecological crisis and centuries of social inequality, scientists and the broad public must see them as interlocking problems. CEL facilitates collaboration between diverse, justice-focused environmental scientists and historically subjugated communities, from hypothesis to investigation and analysis. Through partnerships with community organizations, CEL will investigate shared experiences and cultural memory of BIPOC groups related to themes such as migration, labor, histories of enslavement, food systems, health risk and more. CEL is organizing a series of convenings in partnership with organizations that work with and support Caribbean diaspora communities in the California Bay Area. Focusing their efforts on community building and listening around one specific yet diverse ethnic diaspora will allow CEL to facilitate conversations and activities, including multimedia, oral history, food and scientific presentations during convenings that are geographically and culturally relevant. The results of these convenings will start the process of co-designed, community-driven collaborative environmental projects pertaining to Black and Caribbean ecology.

CEL will also offer a multi-month educational program called Liberation Ecology Field Course. Through the program, Black, Indigenous and people of color from broad walks of life will participate in field-based knowledge and skill building around California ecology through a critical social lens. Applying the research framework of critical ecology, participants will gain fundamental knowledge about the Bay Area landscapes through western and indigenous ecology lenses, will apply direct skills for observing and measuring changing habitats, and will learn to ask environmental questions in ways that challenge social and economic systems that directly impact our planet. CEL aims to inspire and deepen the public's ability to critically think about the social origins of global warming.

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Design to Disrupt

New initiative developed by education-focused entrepreneurs connects lifelong learners and educators of all ages to provide education-based programs, products and services.

The Design to Disrupt (D2D) and Reimagine Education initiative began during the U.S. lockdown phase of the COVID-19 pandemic as an inclusive space for K-12 education stakeholders to provide information, and contribute to, the future of education. Since the group’s establishment, D2D roundtables have served as an entry point for essential conversations about race, racism and the digital divide. Central to these dialogues are the many intersections of one’s identity and social-emotional awareness.

These conversations, known as the Edupreneur Roundtable, are run by community and organizational leaders, and engage a wide community, inclusive and intersectional regarding gender and ethnic diversity, to impact the progress of civic engagement through education. Together they leverage social capital, as a method to provide education-focused entrepreneurs an on ramp into EDTECH and the education service marketplace. By sharing tangible tools, steps and strategies to address the needs of modern education, the roundtable disrupts the traditional Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education marketplace to serve as an entry point that reimagines where, when and how learning happens.
With intention, D2D disrupts and re-envisions a path that advances equity through the development of future-minded educational environments.

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Community-focused program that provides extraordinary opportunities for under-recognized and underrepresented youth

Created by Dr. Whitney Gaskins and the Gaskins Foundation, EPICC STEMulate gives youth resources at many stages of their academic careers, as well as their creative lives. Comprehensive programs are offered to help develop and foster skill sets needed to accomplish a brighter future. The program’s mission is to present, engage and prepare students of all ages to become leaders in STEM using algebra, programming and design concepts.

Empowering Parents in Community Churches (EPICC) STEMulation is designed to transform church meeting spaces into a STEM learning environment. The goal of EPICC STEMulation is to equip church leaders and parents from underrepresented backgrounds with the tools to deliver STEM content contextualized to the lived experiences of those who attend the partner churches. Black churches have traditionally served as places for creating individual, systemic and political change within their communities. Churches utilize their position in the community to train and support those in the most need. As a result, Black churches are ideally situated to offer a new place of STEM learning for the communities they serve.

The organization started as the brainchild of Dr. Whitney Gaskins, 2009’s Miss Black Ohio USA. As Miss Black Ohio, Whitney chose as her platform to increase STEM education for underrepresented youth in our communities. After her tenure, she began conducting STEM workshops throughout the state of Ohio. In 2013, she officially chartered the Gaskins Foundation.

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FRAMERATE: Pulse of the Earth

Multi-screen art installation featuring meditative imagery that bears witness to landscapes in flux.

FRAMERATE: Pulse of the Earth reveals alterations caused by human-centered industry and the immense forces of nature: destruction, extraction, habitation, construction, harvests, growth and erosion.

Three-dimensional stories unfold across an array of screens. Meditative imagery surrounds you. Audio shifts through the space.

Created from thousands of daily 3D time-lapse scans of British landscapes, the work observes change on a scale impossible to see with the lens of traditional cameras.

FRAMERATE: Pulse of the Earth glimpses a future perpetually documented by the eyes of a billion autonomous vehicles and personal devices, creating high fidelity spatial records of the earth.

FRAMERATE: Pulse of the Earth invites you to observe in another way. To think and feel in another time scale: geological time, seasonal time, tidal time. To contemplate change, and the pace of change. This is a space where your perspective might shift.

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Futures Ignite

Organization amplifying youth and community power by inspiring, guiding and advocating for youth to determine their college, career and leadership futures.

Founded by the Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS), Futures Ignite is advancing a model of enrichment, youth leadership and work-based learning to strengthen youth postsecondary outcomes, while supporting youth as leaders to create real life solutions to injustices in their communities. Futures Ignite’s Green Corridor Lab trains youth leaders as citizen scientists, who, in turn, provide training and outreach to other young people, families and community members to conduct scientific research to guide tangible action to create a healthier, greener and more livable neighborhood. By focusing on environmental science, climate change and community health, issues that have direct and tangible implications for community members, the Corridor equips youth and community members to understand why science matters to their lives. By getting community members comfortable with hands-on activities like air, water and soil quality monitoring, the Corridor demystifies science and helps participants see themselves as environmental citizen scientists.

Logo composite: Boys & Girls Club of America, National 4-H council, girls inc, YMCA and Imagine Science. The motto
Imagine Science

A collaborative program that implements informal, out-of-school STEM learning for youth in high-need communities across the country.

Solving the STEM crisis is too complex a challenge for any one organization—school, cultural institution, or community-based center— to tackle alone. In response to this need, four of the nation’s largest and most experienced youth development organizations came together in 2015 to launch Imagine Science, an initiative that harnesses and unites the distinct expertise and resources of each organization: YMCA of the USA, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Girls Inc., and the National 4-H Council.

Imagine Science combines the national resources of these four collaborative partners and jointly implements high-quality informal STEM learning during out-of-school time with underrepresented youth in high-need communities around the nation. The initiative follows a common standard of ‘essential program elements’ rooted in evidence-based STEM and out-of-school youth development practices.

Imagine Science (I/S) is the first-ever jointly operated national effort to design and implement high-quality, out-of-school STEM programming for underserved youth. Together, the four partners reach 18 million young people annually in every U.S. state and territory. Their combined assets include more than 110,000 program sites, over 75,000 full-time employees, and 1 million volunteers dedicated to reaching youth.

Following three successful pilot-site launches, Imagine Science is now focused on expanding its national scaling efforts. With philanthropic support from the Simons Foundation, Imagine Science aims to build capacity through additional sites and create a STEM resource repository for broader distribution of quality STEM curricula and activities.

Still image from movie Symbiont. Window looks at man looking at his hands
Imagine Science Films

Organization that pairs scientists and filmmakers to tell stories of current research through innovative artistic techniques.

Imagine Science Films (ISF) promotes a high-level dialogue between scientists and filmmakers. The Symbiosis competition pairs active scientists with diverse filmmakers, who create short films on condensed production schedules during Imagine Science film festivals.

Since 2014, Symbiosis competitions at New York, Paris and Abu Dhabi festivals have showcased the power of concentrated exchanges between working scientists and filmmakers. ISF structures the program with an eye towards facilitating this exchange and the emergence of new forms of science cinema.

Symbiosis films serve not only to capture specific aspects of current research but also to embrace an artistic quality with an emphasis on innovative storytelling. Participating filmmakers with a wide range of interest and expertise in areas such as animation, commercial, documentary, experimental, fiction and virtual reality, music video) provide their own sensibility and filmic influences to these science film projects. Working scientists contribute by sharing personal stories of their research and facilitating access to research spaces.

Scientist-filmmaker pairs work closely with ISF team members and festival alumni, who serve as mentors. By working directly with mentors and being part of all discussions before, during and after the creative process, scientists gain an appreciation for the full power of sharing science through the filmic lens. It is said that people fully integrate new knowledge when they explain it to another. Through filmmaking, scientists complete the process of learning and integrating their area of scientific inquiry by teaching it to others. For their part, filmmakers learn how to document and create narratives about the scientific research process and humanize science.

Inclusive SciComm Symposium
Inclusive SciComm Symposium

A biennial international convening of practitioners, trainers, researchers, educators, funders and others who work across diverse disciplines to prioritize inclusion, equity and intersectionality in all forms of science communication

Metcalf Institute is a University of Rhode Island program that supports an international network of science communicators through the biennial Inclusive SciComm Symposium. The symposium and broader inclusive science communication (ISC) movement aim to shift science communication toward a new paradigm grounded in inclusion, equity and intersectionality, and to dismantle the exclusive legacies and structures of science.

In 2021, Metcalf launched the inaugural Inclusive SciComm (ISC) Community Cohort, sponsored by Science Sandbox. This initiative seeks to be in solidarity and community with those who are on the ground floor of advancing and realizing equity: community-engagement practitioners. Through the cohort experience, Metcalf highlights community-developed knowledge, alignment and action, and identifies ways to welcome and support these on-the-ground community leaders by amplifying their contributions, providing an opportunity for community engagement practitioners to connect with one another and the ISC movement, and highlighting the knowledge, strategies and lessons of community-engagement practitioners, activists and organizers.

Metcalf Institute provides education, training and resources, with a focus on equity and inclusion, to journalists, scientists and science communicators across career stages, with the aim of engaging diverse public audiences in evidence-based conversations about science and the environment. Its goal is to ensure that all perspectives are valued in the process of identifying and solving environmental challenges. Since 1999, the Metcalf Institute’s proven training model has had a significant multiplier effect, helping millions of news consumers worldwide access accurate, contextual environmental news coverage that connects science and environmental justice and sparks essential conversations about these complex issues.

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Letters to a Pre-Scientist

Pen-pal program that connects students in under-resourced schools with STEM professional mentors for a snail-mail letter exchange during science class.

Letters to a Pre-Scientist (LPS) pairs students in U.S. under-resourced communities with a worldwide network of STEM professionals for a yearlong pen-pal program during science class. Pairs explore STEM careers, higher education journeys, and overcoming obstacles. LPS aims to broaden students’ awareness of what STEM professionals look like and do at work.

Talent and potential are equally distributed in society, but opportunity is not, and students cannot aspire to careers they don’t know exist. Science has never been more important, and society needs all types of people and perspectives to solve the challenging problems of today and tomorrow.

LPS’s mission is to facilitate one-on-one connections between students and STEM professionals in order to demystify STEM career pathways, humanize STEM professionals, and inspire all students to explore a future in STEM.

During the 2021–2022 school year, LPS works with 20 teachers and 850 students in five states.

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Lewis Latimer House — Tinker Lab Summer Programs

A weeklong summer camp offering hands-on STEAM education for underprivileged youth in Queens, NY.

The Tinker Lab Summer Camp at Lewis Latimer House Museum offers no-cost, hands-on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) education to underprivileged youth through a partnership with the Latimer Gardens Community Center — a New York City Housing Authority residence named after the African American inventor.

Each summer camp session features an in-depth weeklong project introducing students to coding, robotics,engineering and art. Parents and guardians are invited to attend a culminating showcase, where campers proudly present their finished projects.

Lewis Latimer House Museum is a New York City landmark, and the historic house of the African American inventor, humanist and son of fugitive slaves, Lewis Howard Latimer. Among his numerous inventions, Latimer invented a method of producing carbon filaments that made the production of light bulbs both practical and affordable for the average household. He worked with Alexander Graham Bell on the patent for the telephone in 1876, and was one of the original 28 Edison Pioneers. The Museum calls attention to Latimer's and other people of color's contributions to technology and American life through multilingual tours, permanent and special exhibitions, literature series, community events and Tinker Lab STEAM educational programs. Latimer’s life story is used as a point of departure from which to examine issues of race, class, immigration and contemporary events.

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Los Angeles Performance Practice

Devoted to the production and presentation of contemporary performance by artists whose work advances and challenges multidisciplinary artistic practices

THE STARS (We Won't Be Here Anymore ...)The Stars is a new time-based light and sound installation for one person, or one small group of people, at a time, developed by Andrew Schneider. The Stars' unseen narrator guides each attendee through their own individual journey of a precisely programmed installation. More than 8,000 individually reactive points of light and a 327-channel sound system envelop each audience member. The Stars invites viewers to become active experiencers, as they explore the traces of themselves in light, the universe and those who have been here before us.

Andrew Schneider is an OBIE award–winning, Drama Desk–nominated performer, writer and interactive-electronics artist creating original works for theater, dance, sound, video and installation since 2003. Based in Brooklyn, New York, Schneider creates and performs original performance works, and builds interactive electronic art works and installations. Rooted at the intersection of performance and technology, Schneider’s work asserts that the phenomenological impact of art is no different from any other category of lived experience.

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Make the Road New York

Community based organization creating a science learning initiative dedicated to engaging Spanish speaking immigrants and their children with New York City math and science learning institutions.

Make the Road New York aims to build the power of immigrant and working-class communities to achieve dignity and justice through four core strategies: community organizing, policy innovation, transformative education and provision of survival services. Founded in 1998, Make the Road New York operates five community centers across NYC, Long Island and Westchester County and has over 24,000 members.

Make the Road has developed a new science learning initiative, which brings together two of the most dynamic projects in the organization: the adult literacy program and the Families in Action organizing committee. The adult literacy program provides classes in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), as well as civics and health career training to approximately 1,400 adults every year. The Families in Action committee organizes families of children in public schools to demand their rights. The project will support Make the Road’s participants — Spanish speaking immigrants and their children — to engage in science and math learning by exploring the city’s rich science and math learning institutions, participating in science-themed activities in Make the Road’s community centers, and by incorporating science content into the organization’s classes in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

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An international live-arts convening of artists, scientists, influencers and machines to develop new works for diverse audiences.

Media Art Xploration (MAX) is a live-arts production company that fosters collaborations between scientists, technologists and artists to harness and interrogate the scientific advances of our times. MAX occupies a special space in New York City's cultural sector by leveraging performing arts to probe STEM advancements for public understanding. By bringing diverse practitioners together, MAX produces installations and performances that further the mission of engaging the public with art, science and technology.

The MAX laboratory, MAXmachina, provides production support and finishing funds, and selects new commissions to artists, scientists and artist-engineers for works that premiere at MAX’s biennial MAXlive live arts festival. Pieces supported by MAX span the genres of dance, music, theater, and interactive installation, achieving a high level of artistry while drawing upon recent scientific research and emerging technologies. Most recently, audiences filled three New York City venues for MAXlive 2021: The Neuroverse, which explored neuroscience, AI and the human-machine interface. MAX also produces MAXforum, conversations between artists and scientists.

MAX works at the conceptual and granular level, drawing on the connection between the creative problem solving of artistic production and that of scientific research and discovery. Participants are connected to an active network of scientific advisors, alumni, and artistic institutions. They are challenged to expand what questions they ask and what might be considered source material for artistic creation. Through this process, projects move beyond the traditional boundaries and elite models of scientific inquiry and artistic endeavor to fashion unique and profound audience experience.

People looking at the smallest mollusk museum

A series of six-foot-tall science museums that offer the joy of discovery in unexpected places — from hospital waiting rooms to the DMV.

Micro introduces people to fundamental scientific principles in the places where they least expect it.

Founded in 2016 by computational ecologist Amanda Schochet and producer Charles Philipp, Micro brings together designers, scientists, storytellers and artists to squeeze the best parts of museums into boxes that can go anywhere.

Traditional brick-and-mortar museums make visitors come to them. Micro is a distributed museum. Its fleet of six-foot-tall science museums finds people where they already are, from hospital waiting rooms to the DMV, and connects communities by fostering a common conversation around science.

Micro’s fleet introduces viewers to the core sciences, with a museum on a new topic released every six months. Its first museum, the Smallest Mollusk Museum, debuted in 2016 and is about to be released around New York City. It uses 15 exhibits, five screens, eight sculptures, three optical illusions, a giant hologram and a liter of slime to tell a story about natural selection and environmental systems spanning millions of years.

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MIT Museum: Science in Vivo

Science in Vivo “meets people where they are” by bringing science to unexpected venues.

The Science in Vivo project fosters the integration of science into settings where people are not expecting it. The overall goals of the project are to inspire experimentation with — and advance the understanding of — such work. Over the course of three years the project will support teams at 24 sites that bring science experiences to “where the people are.” Nine of these sites will host an observational visit from other science engagement professionals, enabling them to better understand the dynamics at work in these settings. The project incorporates several mechanisms for sharing findings, including the annual Science Events Summit.

The MIT Museum engages the wider community with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s science, technology and other areas of scholarship in ways that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.

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Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

Science and technology museum cultivating meaningful experiences and partnerships in Chicago neighborhoods.

The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) has welcomed over 190 million visitors since opening in 1933. Through immersive exhibits, award-winning education programs and live onsite science, MSI reaches across Chicago and around the world. Interactive, hands-on experiences spark wonder and curiosity while cultivating a lifelong appreciation for science and technology.

Located on the South Side of Chicago, MSI is part of an incredible collection of over 30 neighborhoods rich in artistic, scientific and cultural pride. MSI recognizes that talent and potential exist in all zip codes across the city, but not all resources and opportunities are equally distributed. To achieve the museum’s mission, MSI leverages the collective power of the communities it serves.

MSI is seeking to reimagine the ways in which it can be a learner, resource and true partner to the youth and families in Chicago neighborhoods. MSI will spend a year planning and developing its new STEAM Neighborhoods program. Collaborating with communities to co-create STEAM Neighborhoods will leverage insights and relationships from all MSI’s core education programming and focus novel investments into specific Chicago neighborhoods. This work aims to create direct connections among MSI-supported schools, community-based organizations, parks and libraries to develop hyper-local ‘micro-ecosystems’ around STEAM. Neighborhood interest, excitement and need will drive the strategic and operational approaches. With STEAM Neighborhoods, MSI aims to co-create with community stakeholders a model that facilitates the transformation of an entire neighborhood and activates the talent and potential of the youth and families who live there.

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Museum of Science Boston: Dope Labs

A science museum that exists to inspire a lifelong love of science in everyone and works with collaborators across disciplines to create immersive experiences that are relevant and engaging for people of all ages, abilities, identities and backgrounds.

The Museum of Science Boston received a one-year planning grant to support a collaboration between the museum and the executive producers and hosts of the critically acclaimed Dope Labs podcast. The grant will support the development of a new production that will powerfully amplify the voices, stories, work and achievements of unsung BIPOC professionals in STEM. At this time, the museum envisions that the primary target audience will be BIPOC youth across the United States, with an emphasis on middle and high school students (ages 12-17) and their support networks of families and educators.

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NEW INC Creative Experiments Track

An art/design incubator that brings scientific research into mainstream dialogue, translating complex issues for the general public.

The Creative Experiments Track at NEW INC, the New Museum’s art/design/technology incubator, supports ideation and prototyping of new applications for science through the lens of art and culture. Creative practitioners who are exploring artificial intelligence, robotics, biotech, digital manufacturing and other science-based areas of research through their practice are supported for a 12-month period, with a bespoke development program that leverages the tools of entrepreneurship to help realize their ideas and maximize potential for impact and sustainability.

Practitioners gain access to NEW INC’s shared workspace, hands-on support from NEW INC staff and external mentors, participation in the NEW INC community, and a robust roster of professional development programs and events — including opportunities for networking with the Science Sandbox community and collaboration with MIT Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative. A focus within Creative Experiments is to increase public engagement with science. Through diverse art and design projects, members of this Track bring scientific research into mainstream dialogue, translating complex issues for the general public, and making visible ways that these projects leverage emerging technology, scientific thinking, and creative problem-solving. Projects include innovative approaches to materials and green infrastructure, artworks that engage space, geography and physical senses in surprising ways, and research that interrupts conventional scientific narratives.

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New York Hall of Science

Initiative to develop a creative interdisciplinary approach to STEM learning that can be implemented in immigrant communities.

The New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) received a five-year grant from the Simons Foundation to launch Queens 20/20, a multifaceted initiative to provide creative STEM educational opportunities for young people and families in Corona, Queens, a neighborhood that is home to many Latino immigrant families. This population represents the largest and fastest-growing ethnic minority group in the country, but it is vastly underrepresented in science and technology disciplines. Support from the foundation will fund the Science Ambassadors program, which forms the centerpiece of Queens 20/20.

The program will enable NYSCI to make educational resources, exhibits and programs available to students and families in the school district throughout the academic year. Over the next five years, working in partnership with a network of schools in the community, NYSCI will offer programs — based on its signature Design-Make-Play approach to STEM learning — that support out-of-school STEM opportunities and parental engagement. NYSCI will also provide career resources and conduct evaluation and research. The museum’s goal is to serve as a neighborhood hub, offering a much-needed resource for children and their families, teachers, and other members of the community. NYSCI hopes that Queens 20/20 will serve as a model for other organizations and communities serving immigrant families across the country.

New Comm logo

Education design company creating high-quality summer learning and out-of-school time opportunities for highly motivated yet historically excluded BIPOC students.

Founded by high school English teacher Chidi Asoluka in 2021, the New Community Project's mission is to create dynamic and affirming learning environments that empower BIPOC students to be the chief architects of their future. The New Community Project will launch its first program: NewComm Fellows, a month-long paid academic internship program where rising Bronx high school juniors will leverage a scientific study of a literary novel to design a $10,000 project for their local community. Through two modules, Literary Performance and Literary Science, students actively investigate the novel's themes and questions both in the classroom and in their neighborhood. To support their study, students engage with local leaders, scientists, artists, non-profit leaders and company founders to better understand how these seasoned practitioners strategically and systematically confront and address the novel’s thematic questions in their work. As a capstone project, students will conduct their own qualitative and quantitative community research in order to design a project that promotes collective flourishing and empowerment for Bronx residents.

Radiolab logo

Award-winning science radio program that employs high-quality storytelling and sound to engage audiences.

Radiolab is a two-time Peabody Award-winning national public radio program that celebrates curiosity and nurtures engagement with science in millions of listeners nationwide and around the world. Co-hosted by executive producer and MacArthur ‘genius’ Jad Abumrad and veteran science journalist Robert Krulwich, Radiolab approaches broad and diverse topics across science from the ground up.

Radiolab’s non-didactic treatment of science — in which the hosts exhibit curiosity and wonder and ask questions — makes challenging science concepts accessible and encourages a feeling of emotional investment and a sense of discovery within its listeners. By positioning science as a living process — one that requires a range of approaches, an ability to grapple with unknowns, and a willingness to experiment — Radiolab’s hosts draw listeners into stimulating, powerful conversations about science, scientific inquiry, and the scientific process. The program makes scientists out of laypeople as they venture into Radiolab-guided explorations that emphasize a feeling of personal connection through a highly crafted use of sound and story.

To foster public engagement with science and scientific inquiry, Radiolab produces and distributes a selection of science programming to national and international audiences via multiple platforms including original digital podcasts, a weekly hourlong radio broadcast, science communication lectures and live events, and the cultivation and promotion of new Radiolab talent. After over a decade of production, Radiolab is broadcast on 596 public radio stations across the country and averages 3.4 million monthly podcast listeners.

People kayaking in the Rockaway waterfront

A paid internship for students who conduct research under the mentorship of environmental scientists.

Rockaway Waterfront Alliance’s Environmentor is a science research mentoring program for high school sophomores and juniors. Environmentors participate in an intensive paid environmental science internship in the spring and summer, conducting original research under the mentorship of field scientists from the City University of New York, Hofstra University, the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay, and other institutions. Students research complex issues that affect the Rockaways’ urban waters, particularly Jamaica Bay, and present their research in the community and at the American Museum of Natural History. Past interns have conducted research on salt marsh restoration, eel identification using environmental DNA, and microplastics in oysters.

Through their participation in the program, students develop science research skills while enjoying the unique experience of conducting field research in their own communities. Students learn about local ecology and environmental justice issues and become familiar with data collection, scientific equipment, crafting research projects, formulating questions based on raw data and observations, and reading, writing and presenting on scientific topics. Students also participate in leadership training and summer activities including surfing, kayaking and swimming.

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Rocking the Boat

Organization that brings positive impact to the high-need youth of the South Bronx by using activities centered on small boats and local waters as unique vehicles for teaching foundational STEM skills and valuable youth development lessons.

The organization engages high school students in three challenging and dynamic program tracks: wooden boatbuilding, sailing and environmental science. All three deliver hands-on technical education to a population often lacking access to both extra-curricular activities and to STEM-related studies and careers. The Environmental Science Program in particular makes science relevant and fun by grounding lessons in exploration of the participants’ neighborhood river, the Bronx River, and giving them an important role in its restoration. Through hands-muddying activities in student-built boats, the Environmental Science Program nurtures a budding interest in the biodiversity of the Bronx River and trains students in the tools and methods used in environmental research. Students then use those skills to take part in research and restoration projects that partner with local, state and national organizations. In one of a slate of ongoing projects, the students are helping the New York City Audubon Society and the U.S. Forest Service monitor the region’s wading bird population; performing multisite water-quality testing and microplastics research in conjunction with the Bronx River Alliance; managing the Bronx River oyster reef with the Billion Oyster Project; and contributing to the upkeep of a New York City Department of Parks and Recreation restored wetland. Environmental Science Program participants are proud that the data they collect on water quality, oyster growth and bird activity is shared with our distinguished partners and is personally presented to their neighbors at public events.

SEM Link
Science, Engineering and Mathematics Link Inc. — STEM Journal Club

National nonprofit organization established on the premise that exposure to the STEM community is critical to K-12 students pursuing STEM careers.

Founded in 2005 by Tokiwa T. Smith in Atlanta, SEM Link has as its mission to strengthen the self-efficacy of K-12 students to pursue STEM careers by exposing them to positive adult role models from the STEM community that increase students’ awareness of STEM careers and encourage their participation in STEM Research through digital learning and hands-on activities. SEM Link has a two-core program model, Experimental Design Program, and Math and Science Career Academy, in which more than 500 STEM professionals have exposed over 15,000 youth to over 50 different STEM career paths, and also supported hundreds of young STEM research trainees.

The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Journal Club, a program of SEM Link’s Experimental Design Program, aims to develop STEM literacy skills in metro Atlanta high school students from ethnic and racial communities with historically low participation in high-level STEM research competitions. Participants engage in scholarly research; read and analyze STEM literature; and gain exposure to relevant concepts to spark their interest in STEM Research. The journal club curriculum is a “hybrid” journal club model focused on teaching students how to critically, read, dissect, analyze, evaluate and discuss research articles while incorporating social media and small group discussions. The journal club also trains students on communicating STEM topics to diverse audiences with the creation of a podcast episode based on a STEM journal article as the students’ final project for the journal club.

Exhibition hallway of cultural center Pioneer Works
Sciences at Pioneer Works

A massive cultural center dedicated to experimentation, education and production across disciplines, housed in a converted warehouse in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Pioneer Works is a center for art, experiment, research, education and science. Located in a 25,000-square-foot manufacturing warehouse in Red Hook, Brooklyn, the facility houses artist studios, exhibition and performance spaces, a science lab, a recording studio, and more. The floor plan is open and flexible, encouraging a collaborative environment in which international artists, musicians, scientists and educators can create together.

Pioneer Works encourages its artists and scientists to focus on their own disciplines and not feel pressured to cross over into others, although collaborations often erupt spontaneously. What the organization offers to all of its inhabitants is the opportunity to live in a bigger world and play the most important part they can play on that larger stage.

With support from the Simons Foundation, Pioneer Works is rebuilding its science studios. It is also continuing its popular live science events, which are free and open to the public, and producing podcasts to disseminate its programs to a wider audience. In the later phases of its expansion, Pioneer Works will offer specially tailored scientific residencies and workshops and an incubator space. Pioneer Works hopes to become a model for the natural integration of science into a cultural organization.

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On-deadline service connecting reporters to expert sources and research-backed evidence for use in their stories.

Based at the nonprofit American Association for the Advancement of Science and staffed by a team of former journalists and scientists, SciLine is a free service for journalists and scientists with one mission: to help journalists include more high-quality scientific evidence in their news stories. SciLine quickly connects reporters to deeply knowledgeable scientists with solid communication skills and provides rigorously vetted, research-backed text and video resources to enrich their reporting. The organization operates on journalists’ deadline-driven schedules and places special emphasis on the needs of local reporters.

Separately, the organization regularly tees up scientists with expertise in newsworthy topics and schedules availability for one-on-one, broadcast quality interviews. SciLine also conducts its own video interviews with experts when science-related news breaks, then distributes video and transcripts for free download by journalists. In addition, the organization hosts media briefings in which scientists make short presentations on topics in the news and then take live questions on the record.

With Science Sandbox support, SciLine is translating many of its reporting resources into Spanish for use by U.S.-based, Spanish-language media.

Seattle Universal Math Museum logo
Seattle Universal Math Museum

Math museum providing math enrichment activities for students that parents can replicate at home.

Seattle Universal Math Museum’s (SUMM) mission is to spark each and every person to love math. The Museum was founded in 2019 to foster positive connections to math, boost math confidence and help students see math as relevant to their future. SUMM collaborates with parents, teachers, school district leaders and nonprofit partners to create in-school and after-school enrichment programs, focusing on third through eighth grade students and their educators throughout King County with a special emphasis on providing no or low-cost programming in Title 1 schools in South King County. Math comes to life through hands-on experiences inside classrooms, libraries and community centers.

SUMM aims to fill a critical need by augmenting traditional learning settings that highlight the creativity in math, its connections to other disciplines and its applications beyond the classroom. Many BIPOC students, girls, neurodiverse and non-traditional learners too often become discouraged and lose confidence in their abilities in third through eighth grade — a critical age when math becomes more challenging for students, when attitudes about math form, and ideas for future careers take shape. Once confidence is boosted and students see math as relevant to their futures, academic performance improves and children thrive.

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Sing for Science

Science and music podcast where musicians talk to scientists about how their science connects to their most famous songs.

Created and hosted by New York musician Matt Whyte, Sing for Science’s goal is to increase science literacy for as many people as possible by reaching a variety of musicians’ fan bases. Past guests include SIA, Mac Demarco, Norah Jones, Renée Fleming, Run DMC, Blondie and many more. Listeners come to the show through their love of music and leave with a new piece of knowledge about science and the scientific process. Science literacy and respect for expertise are perhaps more vital now than ever before. The show’s chief tenet is that a more scientifically literate society can only contribute towards greater support for fairer, evidence-based governmental policy.

Society for Science logo
Society for Science: STEM Action Grants

This grant program supports community-driven organizations working to enhance the public’s understanding of science and to increase participation of underrepresented populations in STEM.

The Society for Science works to promote the understanding and appreciation of science and its vital role in human advancement. In 2015, the Society launched a suite of outreach and equity programs aimed at expanding access to authentic and high-quality STEM education and experiences for students from underserved or historically underrepresented communities. These programs reach millions of students, educators and community members in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.

One such program, called STEM Action Grants, is helping to grow the next generation of STEM social entrepreneurs. STEM Action Grants strengthen and support innovative, community-driven nonprofit organizations working to enhance the public’s understanding of science and to increase participation of groups underrepresented in STEM fields. The groundbreaking nonprofits supported by STEM Action Grants nurture potential in underserved communities but are often left out of traditional philanthropic giving. As a result, small amounts of funding and other support can have a disproportionately large impact on their essential work. In addition, grantees gain credibility that they can leverage into future funding success. The Society supports the essential work of these community-based STEM organizations by providing catalytic funds via microgrants of up to $5,000 each in addition to media exposure.

In partnership with the Simons Foundation, the Society is expanding its grantmaking capacity to launch grantee cohort-building activities to foster collaboration and build knowledge exchange for the STEM organizations supported by the program.

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STEM Advocacy Institute

Incubator enabling and accelerating the building of new tools and programs that expand pathways of access and engagement between people and science around the world. 

The STEM Advocacy Institute (SAi) is an incubator that is making it easier for social entrepreneurs to launch and run the next generation of STEM engagement initiatives and tools around the world. SAi hosts summer internships, fellowships and residency programs that provide access to funding, community, workshops, research, exposure and so much more. SAi envisions a future where STEM engagement is lifelong, inclusive, diverse and accessible. SAi’s core belief is that access to lifelong STEM engagement is a necessary catalyst for social advancement and ultimately, global peace.

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STEM From Dance

Two- week programs, for girls to create a collection of technology-infused dances, to inspire them to consider joining the STEM workforce.

STEM From Dance (SFD) envisions a world in which Black and Latina women are represented equitably in the STEM workforce. To this end, SFD empowers underrepresented minority girls to prepare for a STEM education that excites them — through the creative and confidence-building aspects of dance.

Black and Latina women comprise 15% of the American population but occupy only 4% of the STEM workforce. The STEM workforce features some of our country’s most high-impact and lucrative jobs, but women of color are deterred from entering STEM fields due to lack of confidence, readiness, and awareness. SFD breaks down each of these barriers using dance as a “hook” and an environment where girls of color can grow their STEM skill set and sense of possibility that STEM can be an option for their futures. Over the past six years, SFD has impacted the STEM awareness, ability and confidence of over 400 participants across a variety of school and community sites.

In partnership with Science Sandbox, SFD piloted a summer program in July 2018 to reach girls from schools across NYC in our target population, creating an opportunity to serve more students and further the mission of preparing girls for a future in STEM. Over two weeks, girls create a collection of technology-infused dances that awe and inspire, while learning about computer science, electrical engineering, choreography and how they all work together.

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STEM to the Future

Organization that inspires Black and Latine students ages 4 to 13 to solve injustice and create the worlds they want and deserve.

STEM to the Future (STTF) is altering the way the world addresses the STEM pipeline gap for Black and Latine students through a scalable social justice and STEAM-based curriculum. STTF positions STEAM as an integrated, hands-on learning experience that leverages competencies from science, technology, engineering and math alongside the arts to solve complex real-world problems.

STTF’s Theory+Practice (TxP) programs are student-led, after-school initiatives in which youth combine justice, STEAM and activism as they work together to reimagine and create the communities they want and deserve. They are guided through the process of: 1) creating a clear vision for the world they want and deserve; 2) using STEAM to develop projects that support their vision; and 3) connecting with the community and grassroots organizations to build and implement their projects. TxP consists of three programs: Build Em Up Robotics, The Bloom Initiative and Brick by Brick. STTF partners with STEAM Residents, who are creatives, professionals and activists with a passion for STEAM, to provide their students with content experts to support them as they address unmet needs in their communities. Students have used robotics to deliver PPE to elders, used community research to design cookbooks with healthy recipes for kids, and created their own brand to raise awareness and funds for the LGBTQ+ and unhoused communities.

Techbridge Girls logo
Techbridge Girls

Tackling the issue of inclusivity in STEM by providing best-in-class, hands-on programming to girls from low-income communities.

Techbridge Girls excites, educates and equips girls from low-income communities to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers and to attain economic mobility and better life chances. Today, many girls are locked out of STEM and have to work twice as hard to get half as far. Overwhelming odds are stacked against them: They live in low-income communities, go to high-poverty schools and experience bias due to their race, class and ethnicity. Techbridge Girls aims to level the playing field and empower girls from low-income communities to achieve upward mobility and financial stability.

The ChangeMakersTM program uses research-based practices and rigorous evaluation to create a year-long program with an engaging curriculum to introduce middle-school girls to a wide array of STEM skills and concepts via "hands-on, minds-on" activities. Girls then use their STEM skills to create original Community Impact Projects. Community-centered Showcase events are held at the end of each program year to celebrate girls’ Community Impact Projects with families, teachers and supporters. Examples of past projects include an app that addresses Islamophobia with profiles of Muslim people in the local community as well as highlighting the similarities between Islam and other religions, and a backpack with sensors and LED lights to increase safety for girls who walk home. ChangeMakers also integrates role-model visits from STEM professionals and field trips to STEM employers and the girls' families.

Texas A&M: ETxSTEM logo
Texas A&M: ETx STEAM

Pilot project aimed at stimulating interest in STEAM among students in under-resourced communities in Texas via “worldbuilding.”

Texas A&M University’s ETx STEAM project, facilitated by the university’s Institute for Applied Creativity and Department of Visualization, aims to stimulate the interest of middle school-aged under-represented minorities to engage with science, math and computing through exploring digital worldbuilding. This pilot project exists within a multi-pronged, collective effort involving public and private partners, all focused on the ultimate goal: empowering youth with greater confidence in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) skills.

Students are guided by “Near Peer Mentors,” undergraduates and graduate students at Texas A&M and Prairie View A&M Universities who will take part in coursework at their respective institutions focused on developing cultural awareness, technical knowledge and mentoring skills required to be successful as mentors to middle school students.

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The Calculus Project

Math organization that helps schools and school districts create a middle and high school pathway for success in advanced mathematics.

The Calculus Project (TCP) helps schools and school districts use research supported strategies to increase the representation of Black, Latine and low-income students in advanced math. TCP provides district support and ongoing professional learning for teachers and administrators in a school or district to build and implement a TCP program for their students.

Students participate in five components of TCP, starting in seventh grade and continuing through high school graduation. 1) Summer Program:Students (rising eighth through 12th graders) are pre-taught some of the upcoming year’s math, which provides an opportunity to get ahead and build confidence and teaches them how to develop high capacity, collaborative study groups. 2) Cohorts: Students are grouped into designated sections to drive continued collaboration and a sense of belonging, which allows students to support each other and continue to hone the collaborative study skills learned during the summer. 3) Academic Center:Tutoring support is available through the school year from math teachers and TCP Peer Teachers (see below), which continually supports students and builds teacher to student and student to student relationships. 4) Peer Teaching: Junior and senior TCP scholars can become paid Peer Teachers for the Summer Academy and Academic Center. This component builds off the research showing the benefits of peer tutoring in driving persistence and achievement — for both the student tutor and the student being tutored. 5) Pride Curriculum: Students learn about the accomplishments of STEM professionals of color during Summer Academy, and they explore personal efficacy through lessons which focus on belonging, agency and resilience.

The Kitchen
The Kitchen: L.A.B. Research Residency

Residency program for artists to conduct archive research and engage with scientists, resulting in presentations of public programs exploring the intersections of art, science and technology.

As one of New York City's oldest nonprofit alternative art centers, The Kitchen provides emerging and established artists opportunities to create and present groundbreaking work within, and across, the disciplines of music, dance, theater, visual art and literature. Founded as an artist collective in 1971 and incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1973, The Kitchen was among the very first institutions to embrace the emerging fields of experimental video and performance art. Recognizing its longstanding legacy for innovation, The Kitchen remains devoted to fostering a community of artists and audiences, offering artists the opportunity to make — and for audiences to engage with — work that pushes the boundaries of artistic disciplines and strengthens meaningful dialogues between the arts and larger culture.

Launched in fall 2022, The Kitchen L.A.B. Research Residency in partnership with the Simons Foundation and the School for Poetic Computation offers four groundbreaking emerging artists opportunities to build, dialogue and exchange together as they gain extended access to The Kitchen’s 50-year archive of artistic experimentation. Paying homage to The Kitchen’s new media roots at its genesis, this pilot program will focus on the relationships between art, science and technology. Paired with a thought partner at the Simons Foundation during the 2022–2023 residency, the artists will develop and present five public roundtable discussions and publish their findings on The Kitchen’s online magazine.

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The Open Notebook

Tools and resources to help science, environmental, and health journalists at all levels of experience to sharpen their skills.

The Open Notebook provides in-depth articles and other tools to help science journalists improve their skills. They support and encourage high-quality science journalism that has the power to engage wide audiences.

The Diverse Voices program comprises a series of feature-length articles that examine the experiences and perspectives of minority science journalists, who are significantly underrepresented in the science journalism community. Lack of diversity in science journalism is a problem not only for science journalism as a profession but also for readers — and thus for public understanding of science. The people who tell science stories influence whose stories get told (or left untold) and, therefore, how accurately the reading public perceives the scientific enterprise and the opportunities within science for people from diverse communities. What’s more, a science media landscape that is not diverse is missing opportunities for engaging communities of readers who may be interested in science and its role in society.

Diverse Voices, a partnership with the National Association of Science Writers (NASW) Diversity Committee, will bring greater visibility to journalists from underrepresented groups and to scientific and journalistic issues of special relevance to minority communities.

The Diverse Voices program is an extension of The Open Notebook’s broader mission to strengthen science journalism by helping science writers sharpen their craft.

Logo for The Story Collider
The Story Collider

A live event and podcast series that encourages scientists to engage with the public through powerful, personal science storytelling.

The Story Collider is a science storytelling show dedicated to the idea that true personal stories are a powerful tool for science engagement. Its founders believe that everybody has a story about science, because now, more than ever, science is a part of everyone’s life. Since 2010, the Story Collider has showcased those personal stories in its many live shows and in its weekly podcast. The organization also teaches science storytelling workshops.

At the Story Collider, the audience hears from scientists about all the times things went wrong in their labs, but the show also presents stories from people who haven’t had a formal connection to science since high school. Storytellers have included physicists, comedians, neuroscientists, writers, actors and doctors.

The Story Collider presents its flagship show monthly in New York City and also hosts shows in Boston, Washington, D.C., and other cities across the U.S. and in the U.K. Its podcast is available on SoundCloud, iTunes and the NPR One app and passed 5 million downloads in 2016.

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The Symposium: Academic StandUp

A touring comedy show and workshop series that brings together educational comedians with real academics and scientists to think more critically about society and the foundations of knowledge.

The Symposium: Academic StandUp’s mission is to challenge academic norms by creating socially aware, culturally relevant educational entertainment while providing intersectional science communication and comedy training to historically marginalized folks in academia. Created by Kyle Marian Viterbo, The Symposium is inspired by Viterbo's experience in the U.K. with Bright Club Comedy and builds off her work embedding Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice initiatives in STEM and science communication.

In 2023, The Symposium: Academic StandUp is launching a Science Comedians' Incubator and National Tour. The incubator's goal is to allow comedians to hone their science standup with diverse audiences in established comedy clubs and comedy festivals around the U.S. while building their network with other performers and science communicators across the country making comedy with STEM. The year-long program will culminate in two national science comedy showcases that will bring together the incubator participants, diverse comedy audiences and fellow nerdy comedians to celebrate the joy and hilarity of STEM.

Universal Hip Hop Museum logo
Universal Hip Hop Museum

Anchored in the Bronx, the birthplace of the culture, the museum provides a space for audiences, artists and technology to converge, creating unparalleled educational and entertainment experiences around hip-hop culture of the past, present and future.

Hip-hop culture possesses a unique ability to connect with people, providing the means to reach across entrenched barriers to introduce concepts and ideas to broad audiences. The artistic elements of sound, movement, art and knowledge create common ground. In the Universal Hip Hop Museum, exhibits, installations and salons intended to be visceral audiovisual, VR and AI experiences will reveal the hidden codes of scientific and technological innovations built into the fabric of hip-hop culture. The Universal Hip Hop Museum and the lab of Dr. Stephon Alexander are creating Hip Hop Science, a phased partnership with the Simons Foundation in the real and digital worlds leveraging our unique abilities to empower young people and demonstrate that scientific inquiry and innovation is intrinsic to the various dimensions of hip-hop culture. The creators of hip-hop were not merely consumers of technology but visionaries of technology, with scientific and futuristic imaginations that are now part of our STEM ecosystem.

Hip Hop Science will bring a series of experiential exhibits, installations, salons and lectures aimed to transform the public’s perception and shine new light on the myriad ways science, technology and hip-hop are integrated. Hip Hop Science will also engage youth through consistent programming, lectures and projects, giving them the opportunity to be the next architects of scientific inquiry, innovation in the spirit of their predecessors — a Hip Hop Science Academy.

Hip Hop Science will be a hands-on interactive exploration of the key elements of the living science in hip-hop, meeting our intended audiences on terrain that is familiar and welcoming. Hip Hop Science will uniquely address a local and national issue concerning youth of color in STEM, understanding the importance for students to interact with and see scientists from their shared background.

Two people paddling in a boat
Wave Hill Woodland Ecology Research Mentorship Program

A paid internship program that allows students to conduct fieldwork that improves the environment through ecological restoration.

The Woodland Ecology Research Mentorship (WERM) program is a 14-month internship (July through August of the following year) focused on urban ecology that pairs 10-12 high school students with working scientists. The program targets economically diverse communities that have a demonstrated need for science enrichment programming. WERM utilizes Wave Hill’s woodland as a living laboratory and provides paid internships for students to engage in fieldwork and academic coursework. These internships promote personal and career growth as students improve the environment through ecological restoration. This internship is often their introduction to scientific research and practical work experience. Students receive a stipend based on hours of participation and performance.

WERM interns take two academic courses: “Restoration of NYC’s Natural Areas” and “Mapping NYC’s Urban Environment: An Intro to GIS.” “Restoration of NYC Natural Areas.” The course goals are: learning the science of ecological restoration; enhancing data literacy; developing technical skills; and understanding the role of public policy; and land management. “Mapping NYC’s Urban Environment: An Intro to GIS” offers students an introduction to cartography and the use of geographic information systems, a technology designed to store, analyze, manage and present geographical data. Both courses were created by Wave Hill’s Educators with experts in the field and enable interns to earn college credits.

Interns are assigned to a site in Wave Hill’s woodland to collect data and perform ecological restoration. Working in groups, students are assigned a scientist mentor who helps them develop a substantial research project that demonstrates their ability to conduct high-level research and communicate scientific findings. Projects have included “Habitat Use and Activity Patterns of NYC’s Urban Wildlife” and “New York Botanical Garden Forest Damage Assessment.”

YR Media

Award-winning media, technology and music training center and platform for emerging BIPOC content creators who use their voices to change the world.

YR Media is a national organization with diverse content creators between the ages of 14 and 24 who create multimedia content for this generation. YR works with 300+ youth correspondents from historically underrepresented communities all across the country, covering essential issues from the perspectives of young people.

This Science is for Everyone, a new YR Media initiative, will focus on engaging new audiences as YR emphasizes science through sound design and audio production. YR’s journalistic endeavors will also focus on climate change, STEM content and current events in science and technology.

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