Medical and graduate student volunteers from Quinnipiac University support our Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) curriculum.
In cooperation with the Quinnipiac University Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine, SMPA initiated Science Friday in 2014
Science Friday is executed by 20 medical and graduate student volunteers, who work in 5-member teams with all grades in 75-minute periods each week.
These student volunteers not only augment our science curriculum with hands-on activities each week, they also serve as role models and mentors for our students.
Career aspirations and academic performance in math and science in the middle and high school years are strong predictors to the pursuit of a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
Research shows that underrepresented minority students remain significantly less likely to enter and remain in the STEM fields, often referred to as the “leaky pipeline.”
Middle school students who do not perform well in math and science will minimally participate in and are often not encouraged by guidance counselors to take these courses in high school.
This all but ensures that college is a lesser option for these students and all but eliminates entry into the STEM fields, where individuals can earn salaries that improve socio economic mobility and status.
Dr. Carolyn M. Macica, Assistance Professor of Medical Sciences, supports the teams with the planning and implementation of Science Friday.
She, herself, began volunteering at SMPA 9 years ago, as an Academic Hall tutor.
“Saint Martin de Porres has created a rigorous learning environment that addresses many of the leaky pipeline concerns in the STEM fields. SMPA positions its students to succeed both inside and out of the classroom. In addition to its commitment to quality education for urban children, SMPA serves as an optimum site for the expansion of Science Friday programming,” stated Dr. Macica.
Quinnipiac University seeks to encourage service learning and reflection among its students.
The University hopes that programs like Science Friday will enable it to attract additional medical, science and education students as teachers.
Hopefully, the Science Friday program will also help them to increase the number and diversity of students who are motivated and qualified to enter STEM fields of study.