A nonprofit organization is preparing younger students for STEM careers by pairing them up with college volunteers.
Students from the College of Saint Elizabeth are volunteering to work with younger students through Students 2 Science (S2S), a nonprofit which aims to prepare students for careers in STEM fields.
S2S president and founding member Paul Winslow had difficulty when he owned a laboratory finding qualified employees, He realized that a wide problem among people applying for jobs was the lack of practical experience. He decided to correct this, providing hands on experience to younger students. Students 2 Science was formed in 2009.
“Both middle and high school students come for three visits every year,” said Cyndi Roberson, the director of corporate relations for S2S. “Middle school students do experiments centering around matter, solutions and separations while high school students focus on pharmaceutics, bio technology and organic chemistry.”
The strength of the program is the volunteers who help and offer guidance to the younger students.
“The kids in the program were extremely bright and reminded me of when I was in school and excited to do science experiments for the first time,” says Jendaya Workman, an S2S volunteer and biology major.
The students have the opportunity to work with commercial quality equipment that has been donated by scientific instrumentation manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies.
“We give all students interested in science the experience they need,” said Roberson. “Even those who may not have the resources, the background, the mentors or the familial support. We want to fill that void.”