Mad Science to provide STEM workshops to help students foster 21st-century skills and recover from pandemic learning loss

  • A Mad Science instructor leads students in an experiment as part of a workshop that aims to give kids a lifelong love of science, technology, engineering and math.

    A Mad Science instructor leads students in an experiment as part of a workshop that aims to give kids a lifelong love of science, technology, engineering and math.

 
 
Updated 9/2/2022 9:21 AM

Mad Science, a leading STEM-enrichment provider with locations in Chicago, Northern Illinois and the Western Suburbs, has entered a strategic partnership to bring Chicago students hands-on programs that spark imaginative learning before, during and after school. As a new approved vendor of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the company will provide workshops that focus on forming the foundation for a lifelong love of science, technology, engineering and math and inspiring local students to pursue future STEM careers.

During the 2022-2023 academic year, all qualifying elementary schools have the option of offering the Mad Science programs on site, as an out-of-school-time (OST) option that is funded by the CPS board of education. The programs are developed by Mad Science and taught by the company's instructors.

 

"It is a great honor to have the opportunity to inspire even more young minds through this CPS partnership," says Shafik Mina, president of Mad Science Group Inc., the global parent company of Mad Science of Chicago, Northern Illinois and Western Suburbs. "Our instructors are eager to help CPS students develop a passion for STEM, which is an essential part of fostering critical thinking and other 21st-century skills."

Mina adds that students everywhere have suffered learning loss because of the pandemic and that offering programs like Mad Science as an OST option can help them catch up and re-engage in learning.

"We know that children are resilient and hardworking, and educators are committed to supporting them so they can get where they need to be. Before- and after-school opportunities, like Mad Science workshops, can supplement the great work already being done during this critical time and inspire children's imagination and curiosity," he says.

The CPS programming offered through Mad Science is designed to empower the next generation of STEM enthusiasts with 10 workshops that develop skills like problem solving and creativity, inspire positive attitudes toward STEM and support students' academic acceleration. Schools have the option of offering a variety of workshops with topics such as Life in the Sea, Walloping Weather, Planets & Moons, Energy Boost and Kitchen Chemistry.

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Each one-hour workshop can be customized to fit conveniently into a school's daily schedule, either before or after school, or even during lunchtime. The workshops allow students to explore STEM fundamentals and learn about various STEM careers. In addition, educational resources such as math sheets, literacy sheets and fact cards further learning and discussion at home.

With decades of experience in the children's science enrichment space, Mad Science of Chicago has been a pillar in the community, engaging children to spark imaginative learning through its in-school and out-of-school programs. The company paused operations during the pandemic, as in-person programs were increasingly difficult to execute, and the best way to benefit from experiential STEM learning is through hands-on discovery. As Mad Science of Chicago's operations recently re-launched, the company is proud to align and strategically partner with one of the largest school districts in the U.S.

Mad Science of Chicago already launched STEM programs this summer in select elementary schools throughout the city, as a complement to CPS summer school curriculum. Feedback from school administrators, staff and students has been positive. Principal Latoya Lyons of William H. Brown STEM Magnet School says the lessons were engaging, and students enjoyed them. Fairfield Academy OST lead Deanna Bernabe says her colleagues and students liked the program, and her school hopes to have Mad Science back in the future.

Registration is now taking place for the fall and winter semesters. The Mad Science school partnership team is available to help schools customize programs to suit their needs, as well as help them secure funding. For more information about the CPS/Mad Science partnership and to learn how to bring workshops to individual schools, administrators and staff can visit https://chicago.madscience.org/stemistsociety-program.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Parents/guardians and community members also are encouraged to check out the website to learn more if they want to explore how to bring these STEM opportunities to their neighborhood schools.

For over 35 years, Mad Science® has developed science programs that are kid-tested and approved. From the company's humble beginnings to the present day, Mad Science has always believed that hands-on, fun STEM experiences form the foundation of a lifelong love of science, technology, engineering and math. Today, Mad Science is the world's leader in science education for children, with over 150 franchise locations in more than 20 countries.

Mad Science was founded in 1985 in Montreal, Canada, by two brothers, Ariel and Ron Shlien. Their hobby of conducting spectacular science experiments, to the amazement of the children in their neighborhood grew from a passion into a thriving business. Mad Science is now a global enrichment company that brings the love of science in a unique, hands-on way to millions of children every year. For more information, visit https://www.madscience.org/.

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