The Harlem Shake-up
Harlem Biospace, a biotech incubator that offers shared wet-lab space to startups in the old Factory District of Harlem, is making sure that young scientists from diverse ethnic and social backgrounds have adequate access to science resources. Through the newly launched initiative Hypothekids, Co-founders Christine Kovich and Sam Sia hope to set new standards in science education and connect students in underserved communities to new resources. Erika Gillete, Program Manager of Education Initiatives and a graduate of Teachers College, has designed the curriculum based on her experiences working with enrichment programs in science. The multi-sensory, inquiry-based enrichment program uses instructional scaffolding to introduce young children to the fundamentals of scientific concepts across multiple subjects to boost their confidence in their scientific abilities over the long term.
Learning to Love Science
It is the hypothesis that low-tech activities like performing simple experiments, keeping field notebooks, and reading pertinent fiction books, will transform kids’ naturally inquisitive nature into a passion for scientific learning that extends throughout their academic lives. This is an especially worthwhile goal in light of the fact that 44% of fourth graders in NYC scored "below basic" on elementary science tests. The Hypothekids team recognizes that disinterest in science starts in Kindergarten, when many kids first adopt negative attitudes, and worsens before first grade, when science becomes less popular, especially among girls. Involving kids in collaborative projects during in-school lab hours and after school programs could foster an appreciation for hands-on scientific learning to help them persevere through the inevitable worksheets and standardized tests. Raising a new generation of scientists is essential to meeting future economic demands. According to national data, there are currently 3.7 million unfilled jobs in STEM fields, and within the next five years, post-secondary education will be required for 92% of traditional STEM jobs. Hypothekids wants to prepare kids to fill these positions and prove that science can be for everyone.
Learn more about Harlem Biospace via Seen in New York.Image via Hypothekids