In the Science Museum’s Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center (KAYSC), young people are using STEM to advance social justice, while addressing racial, gender, and economic inequities.
One of the many ways they do this is through the STEM Freedom School, the first of its kind in the nation. This partnership with St. Paul City School combines the KAYSC’s expertise in hands-on STEM learning and the Children’s Defense Fund’s Freedom School Model to help build literacy, elevate STEM solutions, and curb summer learning loss for students in St. Paul’s Promise Neighborhood. Generous support from global climate innovator Trane Technologies is key to making it successful.
The STEM Freedom School program serves 150 students from kindergarten through grade 8 each summer by igniting a passion for reading and a love of learning. In addition, the program provides opportunities for youth and young adults to serve as Student Leader Interns. In these roles, they develop and lead activities and coordinate logistics, building skills and gaining valuable experience that could lead to employment in in-demand STEM and education fields.
STEM Freedom School days start with harambe, a read-aloud from a visiting adult, and literacy work. In the afternoons, scholars get involved in hands-on activities that focus on using STEM to solve problems in our community. Activities align with the KAYSC’s STEM content areas: biological sciences/public health, engineering and design, media and technology, and environmental science and sustainability.
“In our Freedom School, all STEM learning is focused on helping youth begin to see STEM as a tool for dismantling systemic oppression and achieving collective liberation,” says Joseph Adamji, director of the Science Museum’s Center for Equity Systems Change. “This support from Trane Technologies is helping us to build toward impacts that will continue far beyond the program, for our youth and for the field.”
Learn more about the school and programs from Science Museum of Minnesota.