During the 2016-2017 school year, more than 300 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professionals donated over 1,700 hours to engage students with STEM education through Lumity, an organization dedicated to providing teens and young adults in underserved communities with transformational experiences, preparing them for lifelong STEM careers.
Lumity’s STEM program is a public and private partnership, where STEM professionals engage and coach high school students throughout the school year. In this past year alone, the program has reached thousands of students through 125 hands-on STEM experiences, talks, real-world project challenges, and over 500 classroom hours focused on career and life readiness skills. In addition, Lumity has trained 52 teachers in the code.org curriculum, reaching over 1,000 students.
Looking forward to the 2017-18 school year, Chicago-based Lumity will be adding new classes in three schools, as well as launching their full program at Von Steuben Metropolitan High School. Long term, they plan to further expand into other metro markets. Throughout this growth Lumity hopes to see a continued increase in employee engagement alongside teachers and counselors.
Working directly with these STEM professionals boosts the students’ likelihood of graduating high school and attending college, better setting them up for future employment and providing invaluable interpersonal communication skills.
“At Lumity, we immediately see the value of connecting a STEM professional with a group of students while working on a real world project, replicating how businesses solve challenges in the workplace,” said Kara Kennedy, Executive Director at Lumity.
For example, Lumity offers a variety of challenges for students to work through. Recently, high school juniors and seniors participating in the program partnered with senior health care professionals to improve user experience of a mobile app.
“It’s a winning proposition for all parties: students get real hands-on experiences, corporations get to tap the innovative ideas of students, and teachers and counselors get exposed to the latest thinking among employers. It’s daunting to think about innovating the entire education system. Instead, let’s innovate one classroom at a time for sustainable progress to prepare students for careers so America can compete globally,” said Kennedy.