The program will begin its first year in fall of 2014 and will be open to 7th and 8th grade girls living in Genesee County. Space is available for 20-30 girls and the program will run from October 20th to June 8th. Meetings will be held weekly on Mondays from 4-5:30pm. Applicants will be accepted from public, private, and charter schools, as well as from homeschool families. Acceptance to the program is based solely on interest and is open to students of all abilities and aptitudes. There is a program fee, although limited need-based scholarship funds are available.
The program aims to provide an opportunity to explore STEM concepts without the pressure of grades or standardized tests, and to encourage further studies in STEM fields. Curiosity Academy will promote a positive image of chemists and other scientists and demonstrate the strong role women play in advancing science by engaging the girls in exciting and meaningful activities.
The project’s first-year scenario will have the girls working as employees of a personal care company who must create a new product. They will take different roles in research and development as they move from conception to production of their chosen product. Their activities will be grounded in biology, chemistry, computer science, and engineering as they work to achieve the perfect formulation and packaging. Towards the end of the project, they will learn about business, promotion, and design principles as they consider how they would market what they’ve made.
Curiosity Academy participants will be using university labs and equipment, working with professors and undergraduate students, and engaging with industry and community members throughout the project. Regular weekly meetings will be held in order for the girls to develop the necessary thought processes, safety, and hands-on skills required to accomplish their goals.
By promoting a positive image of chemists and other scientists, as well as demonstrating the strong role women play in advancing science and society, the Curiosity Academy hopes to make an impact on the lives and futures of all participants.
The Curiosity Academy is NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS! Complete this FORM and mail to the Longway Planetarium (1310 E. Kearsley St., Flint, MI 48503) by October 8, 2014. Questions? Contact Monique Wilhelm of the UM-Flint Chemistry Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 810-762-3275.