The Miami Science Museum's youth programs focus on providing low income youth with training, mentoring, work experience, academic enrichment and skills in the use of technology, while improving their communication and interpersonal skills and self confidence. The Museum's approach has been profoundly effective, with college and employment success stories attesting to its positive impact. Youth programs provided by the Museum not only provide students an alternative to the streets, but also with a new way of thinking and planning for their futures.
Silver Knight Awards: The Museum’s Youth Development Program proves to be a great success in mentoring our future leaders of tomorrow with the announcement of its 16th Silver Knight Awards nomination over the past 10 years.
- Best Buy Teen Tech Center
Funded by Best Buy
The Best Buy Teen Tech Center is a place where youth can explore new technologies through activities facilitated by experienced Museum staff. Technology and multimedia tools are available for music and video production, interactive programming, digital photography, graphic design and much more.
- Upward Bound IMPACT: Integrated Marine Program And Computer Training
Funded by the US Department of Education TRIO Program
In October of 1999, the Miami Science Museum was honored to be the first science museum in the nation to become an Upward Bound Math & Science Center. Upward Bound is one of the US Department of Education's TRIO programs. The overall goal of the program is to help low income, first-generation college bound students be prepared for postsecondary study, and to graduate college with a bachelor's degree in science, math, and technology related fields.
- Digital WAVE: Warming Winds and Water
Funded by the National Science Foundation ITEST
This ITEST Strategies project is creating and testing a new model for engaging youth in climate science and related IT-intensive careers. Conducted in collaboration with University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) and MiamiDade College (MDC), the project targets students in grades 9-11 who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields. Students acquire 3D graphic design and computer animation skills during Saturday Design Studios held at MDC. They also take part in a Summer Academy where they collaborate with experienced virtual world exhibit fabricators to create science-rich simulations that focus on the dynamics of climate change on South Florida. Students explore topics such as coral reef bleaching, hurricanes and sea level changes, and interact with RSMAS scientists, gaining first-hand insights into ongoing research projects. Simulations will be launched in the virtual world environment known as Second Life, resulting in educational resources that can reach thousands of students worldwide.
- Youth EXPO: Exploring the Potential of Virtual Worlds
Funded by NASA CP4SP
The Miami Science Museum, in collaboration with NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and NASA Learning Technologies, is developing an interactive simulation on climate change in SL. The simulation projects information from NASA's remote sensing data and climate model results onto a 3D image of the Earth. Virtual visitors can control and manipulate variables as they conduct investigations into the causes and possible repercussions of climate change. High school students from the Museum's youth programs and Miami-Dade County Public Schools' Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy serve as evaluators and testers of the simulation.
- SPICE: Science Program Inspiring Creative Exhibits
Funded by the JP Morgan Chase Foundation
An afterschool and summer program for female students in grades 6-8, SPICE addresses the need to cultivate diversity in preparing the next generation of female scientists. A total of 44 girls were selected from Charles Drew Middle School, where more than 90% of the students qualify for the Free or Reduced Lunch Program. Participants meet afterschool twice a month and attend a three-week summer academy, where they work collaboratively in small teams to create interactive museum exhibits. The program will create a model for engaging middle school girls in science that guides them through the design of their own exhibits related to science topics of interest to them. SPICE supports the development of girls' interest in science, self-esteem, use of technology, and communication skills.
Past Projects & Resources
- RISE: Raising Interest in Science
Funded by the US Department of Education
Building on previous collaborations with Miami-Dade County Public Schools and SECME, Inc., RISE aims to raise awareness of, and interest in, engineering and advanced technology among high school girls. The project includes Saturday workshops, a four-week summer design institute, internships and college tours for girls; professional development for science and mathematics teachers at participating high schools, and parent involvement activities.
- GECO: Girls Engineering Competition Open
Funded by the Kennedy Family Foundation
This initiative addresses the need to widen the engineering pipeline by raising awareness of and interest in science and engineering among middle school girls. The Museum will organize engineering training workshops for 120 girls and their teachers, led by Museum staff and four female mentors from the University of Miami. The project will culminate in a day of engineering challenges and a Family Day at the Museum. GECO's goals are to increase girls' content knowledge in electrical engineering and motivate them to pursue advanced courses in mathematics and science. The program will also increase teacher awareness for promoting gender equity in STEM education and support parent involvement in their daughter's science and technology education aspirations.
- BioDECIDE: Biomedicine Deliberative Citizens Debate
Funded by the Toyota USA Foundation
BioDECIDE engages underserved high school students in discussion, debate and on-line research related to some of the most cutting-edge, controversial, and personally relevant topics in biomedicine today. The project annually serves over fifty low-income, first-generation college-bound youth participating in the Miami Science Museum's ongoing Upward Bound (UB) program.
- National BioTrac (Biomedical Training, Research and College Pre Replication) Project
Funded by the National Institutes of Health
In collaboration with the University of Miami's School of Medicine and Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS), the Museum is building on its existing youth program to incorporate a new biomedical strand. The program, entitled BioTRAC, serves to expand opportunities in biomedicine for low-income, first-generation college-bound high school students, increasing the number interested in, and prepared to enter, the biomedical research pipeline. The program is funded by the National Institutes of Health under their SEPA (Secondary Education Partnership Award) initiative.
- GREAT!: Girls Redesigning and Excelling in Advanced Technology
Funded by the National Science Foundation
In June 2001, the Miami Science Museum received funding from the National Science Foundation to design and implement an innovative model program to increase the confidence, interest and preparedness of girls to pursue academic and employment opportunities related to high-end careers in the field of information technology (IT). GREAT! is engaging middle school girls from Miami Dade County Public Schools in Saturday and summer programming, helping them to acquire increasingly complex technology skills as they create a series of IT products, culminating in the creation of fully-interactive 3D virtual reality exhibits.
- Phase 1 BioTrac
Funded by the National Institutes of Health
- SECME RISE
Funded by the US Department of Education
SECME RISE was a three year partnership to increase middle school girls' self-esteem and confidence in learning mathematics and science, reducing attrition in advanced level math and science coursework. SECME RISE was a wide-scale expansion of Girls RISE '96-'98.
- STEP-UP: Student & Teacher Enhancement Program Using Palms
Funded by the Annenberg Foundation
STEP-UP was a program of the Technology Trainer Enhancement Center of the Miami Science Museum to develop and implement training for teachers and underserved youth in the use of handheld computers to enhance classroom and field-based science learning. Participating teachers and students used handheld computers with a variety of probes to conduct science experiments dealing with water quality.