Contribution from AT&T Supports Science Center Program for High School Students

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Representatives from AT&T presented the University City Science Center with $20,000 at the Project Inquiry Student Showcase on February 7, 2018 at the Science Center.

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Representatives from AT&T presented the University City Science Center with $20,000 at the Project Inquiry Student Showcase on February 7, 2018 at the Science Center. The contribution from AT&T funded the latest cohort of FirstHand’ s Project Inquiry program, which gives high school students an in-depth and focused experience with STEM subjects.

The latest cohort of FirstHand’s Project Inquiry participants, 12 tenth graders from School of the Future, were challenged to redesign the logo, brand books, and marketing materials for Evol Science, a biotech company located in the Science Center’s Port Business Incubator. Students dove into the scientific design and prototyping process, learning advanced modeling skills using 3D printers and laser cutters, and Adobe Creative Suite software.

Evol Science staff served as mentors throughout the program, giving the students a first-hand look into life at a startup, and careers in the STEM fields.

At the showcase, students presented their work to Evol Science staff, AT&T representatives, Science Center staff and School of the Future administration. AT&T representatives served as judges at the student showcase, offering feedback and recommendations to the students on their projects.

“AT&T is proud to support the Science Center’s Project Inquiry because it is just the type of immersive programming that’s so important in guiding students toward academic success and ultimately career success,” said Joseph Divis, assistant vice president-external affairs for AT&T. “Exposing high school students to STEM in the real world through hands-on experience and caring mentors delivers powerful learning and inspiration.”

Divis said the contribution is part of AT&T Aspire, AT&T’s signature philanthropic initiative to drive student success in school and beyond.

Designed to give high school students an in-depth and focused experience with STEM learning, Project Inquiry allows students to pursue individual interests through projects matched with focused mentoring experiences. A staple of all FirstHand programming, mentoring is a key component of Project Inquiry, with monthly visits from Science Center-based professionals. As a result of their participation in Project Inquiry, students were exposed to a variety of STEM professionals ranging from scientists and researchers at a startup to technology professionals at a Fortune 500 company.

Serving Philadelphia youth from under-resourced schools and the teachers, professionals and families from their communities, FirstHand aims to spark an interest in the STEAM disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math that students can explore and cultivate throughout their lives. By giving students the opportunity to explore, ask questions, and create new solutions, FirstHand is opening the doors for the minds of tomorrow.

About the Science Center
Located in the heart of uCity Square, the Science Center is a mission-driven nonprofit organization that catalyzes and connects innovation to entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. For 50+ years, the Science Center has supported startups, research, and economic development in the life sciences, healthcare, physical sciences, and emerging technology sectors. As a result, graduate firms and current residents of the Science Center’s incubator support one out of every 100 jobs in the Greater Philadelphia region and drive $13 billion in economic activity in the region annually. By providing resources and programming for any stage of a business’s lifecycle, the Science Center helps scientists, entrepreneurs and innovators take their concepts from idea to IPO – and beyond. For more information about the Science Center, go to http://www.sciencecenter.org

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Jeanne Mell

Kristen Fitch

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