Following a successful 2011 year that culminated in a December Science Fair at the St Joachim annex of Northwood Academy Charter School, iPRAXIS is once again looking for volunteers to mentor middle school students.
Via the iPraxis website:
The mission of iPRAXIS is to open the doors of science and discovery to new generations through innovative educational programming. iPRAXIS works to connect resources with under-served communities, allowing more opportunities in scientific enterprise for people of all backgrounds. iPRAXIS encourages the active participation in the sciences through advocacy and outreach.
From Megan Hopkins-Doer, former Northwood Academy teacher and current iPRAXIS program director:
At iPRAXIS we are getting ready for the upcoming school year and so I am busy recruiting volunteers. As such, I would love if the announcement for volunteers could be put into the Frankford Gazette. This year, we plan on continuing to support the science program at Northwood Academy Charter school, as well as our other Philadelphia schools.
As background, we recruit volunteer STEM experts to go to our partner middle schools in Philadelphia to expose students to the STEM disciplines and increase their excitement for, and understanding of, science. We work with several schools across Philadelphia, including Cook-Wissahickon. This is a link detailing our impact over the years – https://www.dropbox.com/sh/
Last year we had 7 judges from various sources such as Temple and Penn graduate students, a Boeing engineer, and several judges from Thermo Fisher Scientific review and interview the students at Northwood’s Science Fair. Then volunteers from GlaxoSmithKline and Temple came weekly to Northwood to mentor the winners from the Science Fair as they prepared to compete in Philadelphia city-wide Science Fair, GW Carver. iPRAXIS also provided engineering experts to guide students in two afterschool engineering clubs: Future City competition and Junior Solar Sprint competition. In addition, iPRAXIS brought six presenters to Northwood to provide presentations that supported the curriculum and expanded the students’ knowledge of potential careers. At one of these presentations, John McNeil the CEO of the Eastern Regional Cancer Treatment Centers of America, and Dr. Richard Schmidt an oncologist, spoke to students about cancer and some of the treatment options. At this presentation, Mr. McNeil and Dr. Schmidt were very impressed with the level of questions the students provided and encouraged by the response they received.
The school year is quickly approaching and so I am currently in the process of finding volunteers. Our volunteers range from students from the region’s universities to PGW engineers to leading surgeons (such as Dr. George Spaeth of Wills Eye). I have attached several flyers with different types of volunteering opportunities, but our biggest need is for mentors. This year we will work with the following schools: Belmont Academy (W Phila), Cook-Wissahickon (Roxborough), Girard College (N Phila), Lea (W Phila), Martha Washington (W Phila), Memphis St Charter (Port Richmond), and Northwood Academy (Frankford).