press releases

Science Center’s FirstHand Program Receives National Award for Mentoring Initiatives

October 10, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- (October 10, 2017) – For the second time in three years, the University City Science Center’s FirstHand program has won a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled to Washington, D.C. Tuesday, October 10th, to accept the award for Excellence in Volunteer Experience from US2020.

 

US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory of STEM education in America by dramatically scaling the number of STEM professionals engaged in high-quality STEM mentoring with youth.  

 

The third annual US2020 STEM Mentoring Awards, in collaboration with Co-Founding Sponsors Chevron and Tata Consultancy Services, are a national platform to celebrate and encourage exceptional work in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) mentoring. Excellence in Volunteer Experience recognizes programs that provide high-quality and well-supported engagements for their volunteers.

 

“This award affirms FirstHand’s approach to hands-on, project-based learning guided by the experience of our amazing professional mentors – scientists and entrepreneurs that walk the Science Center hallways every day,” says FirstHand Director David Clayton. “We’re creating a unique mentoring experience for Philadelphia youth – and we’re thrilled to be honored by US2020 for this approach.”

 

“FirstHand not only gives Philadelphia youth access to the tools, resources and expertise necessary to gain 21st Century skills – it’s inspiring young minds and filling the pipeline of tomorrow’s STEM workers” says University City Science Center President & CEO, Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA.

 

FirstHand received the 2015 Most Innovative Hands-on Project award from US2020 and was a finalist in the Excellence in Volunteer Experience same category in 2016.

 

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. FirstHand specializes in interactive learning where students design experiments, test hypotheses and work toward final projects to share with the community. Programs are supplemented with mentorships from the Science Center’s resident companies, allowing students to learn about and experience real-life STEM entrepreneurship in real-world applications. This fall, students from Philadelphia area schools are participating in Polymer Play, AmpItUp, DNA Selfie, and Project Inquiry, working alongside STEM professionals.

 

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 www.sciencecenter.org