Project Exploration

Project Exploration’s mission is to make science accessible to the public—especially minority youth and girls—through personalized experiences with science and scientists. We work with nearly 250 middle and high school Chicago Public School students annually in out-of-school time settings. Project Exploration targets students who are open-minded and curious; we particularly focus on young people who may be struggling academically. Project Exploration fosters and supports long-term relationships with our participants. After getting students interested in science, we focus on keeping them interested and building their capacity to continue their interests through high school and beyond. All of our programs are free, eliminating the cost barrier that prevents low-income students from accessing dynamic out-of-school time science programs.

Project Exploration specifically recruits students who are historically underrepresented in science professions—women and minority groups, in particular those from low income backgrounds: 70% of program participants are female, and 30% are male; 63% are African American, 35% Latino, 1% Caucasian, and 1% Other. By focusing on, and showing success with, these populations Project Exploration is addressing critical issues facing STEM education today: inequality of opportunity, lack of diversity, and workforce development.

Project Exploration’s impact on changing the face of science has been recognized locally and nationally: In 2009 Project Exploration received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics, Science and Engineering Mentoring from the White House and was named a national model for leveling the playing field in science in 2010 by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. In 2011 Project Exploration received the Excellence in Summer Learning award from the National Summer Learning Association and Project Exploration cofounder Gabrielle Lyon was recognized as a Chicagoan of the Year by Chicago Magazine.

Behind the Scenes: Hidden Heroes in Science Project Exploration

  By Tracee Stanford, Project Exploration Media Instructor Here’s something you didn’t know about Project Exploration’s Youth Science and Media...

May 9, 2014

Media Maker Spotlight
Project Exploration

May 9, 2014

By Kasiah Henderson My name is Kasiah Henderson and I am a  seventh grader at Young Women’s Leadership Charter School...

Student Journalists Profile a Civil Engineer
Project Exploration

May 2, 2014

By Tracee Stanford, Project Exploration Media Instructor Have you ever stepped onto the sidewalk of a building and wondered how...

Myth Busters: Can You Drown a Plant?
Project Exploration

April 10, 2014

  By Tracee Stanford, Project Exploration Media Instructor As spring time emerges,  those with green thumbs will be happy to...

Student Journalists Get Involved In Busting Science Myths
Project Exploration

April 2, 2014

By Tracee Stanford, Project Exploration Media Instructor Myths about science have been passed down through the ages. But, a group...

Winter Science Exploration
Project Exploration

January 10, 2014

A group of students visits Chicago Botanic Garden to learn about photosynthesis.

Chromatography: How colors are made
Project Exploration

December 10, 2013

The Sisters4Science Perspectives Calumet Girls learned a little known fact about colors.

#Sisters4Science Reflection Of Knowledge presentation on Friday, Dec. 12
Project Exploration

December 10, 2013

The Sisters have prepared dances, raps, PowerPoints and more.

Dish soap and pineapple juice? Oh, we’re just extracting our own DNA
Project Exploration

December 10, 2013

Who knew simple materials you'd find around your house could be used to get a DNA sample?

Baby dragons and genetics
Project Exploration

December 10, 2013

By Marilee During our second session at Finkl, we explored the role of genetics in engendering the unique combinations of...