Youth & Opportunity United (Y.O.U) is a youth development organization in Evanston, providing both afterschool and summer programming for underserved Evanston youth in grades 3-12. Science in Society leads weekly afterschool programs where 3-5 graders gain skills and explore the world of science with the support of Northwestern mentor scientists, and once a week the Y.O.U. team guides student-led response and research projects connected to their current science investigations.
"Science in Society brings a philosophy and culture focused on mentoring, meeting youth where they are, combining opportunities for both action and reflection, a flexibility and willingness to create units that work for Y.O.U." says Casey Varela, Manager of Strategic Partnerships at Y.O.U, one of the key partners in the project. "The skills learned through this program not only prepare our youth for a changing economy where STEM fields are continuing to grow but also gives them 21st-century skills like communication, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking needed for pose-secondary and life success."
Science in Society first partnered with Y.O.U. in spring 2015 to provide mentor-led, hands-on science after school. Successful spring and summer projects led to the establishment of two after school programs in the 2015-2016 school year, based at Dawes and Oakton Elementary Schools.