Columbia College Chicago Teen Summer Symposium

After weeks of hard work and preparation, teens from all over Chicago will show off their talents at the third annual Columbia College Chicago Teen Summer Symposium.

The Symposium will be held August 7, 2014 at 6:00pm at Columbia College Chicago-Stage 2  located at 618 S. Michigan Ave.

Teens from the ComEd Youth Ambassadors Downtown Region, Scientists for Tomorrow-James Hedges Elementary and the Junior Research Scientists, will present their work in front of their families and mentors.

The showcase has been the culminating event that the teens have been preparing for in the summer programs. It is an opportunity for the teens to practice public speaking, communicate their ideas to the public, social network and most of all to feel proud of their work.

For more information about the  Columbia College Chicago Teen Summer Symposium, you can contact



Community Partners Meeting August 29, 2014

Scientists for Tomorrow (SfT) will host a Community Partners meeting on Friday, August 29th, 2014 from 9:00-12:00pm at Columbia College Chicago, 600 S. Michigan Ave., room 401.  For those organizations that are interested in our 2014-2015 SfT program, we invite the directors of the centers, as well as the program coordinators to join us for a discussion about important topics involving SfT in the community sites and the upcoming school year.

During the meeting, we will introduce the results of our external evaluation, and share best practices developed by different community centers; to improve recruitment and retention of participants as well as parents involvement in the project.This meeting is mandatory for those of you that are interested in running our program in your sites. To have a successful and smooth year of activities, it is necessary to set a calendar as soon as possible, to allow us to designate the resources to better serve your communities.

Agenda will include:

  • Introduction of the Scientists for Tomorrow program
    • Evaluations from 2013-2014
    • Important Start and End dates
    • “Science Family Day” and Important Events
  • Scientists for Tomorrow Requirements
    • Professional Development for Instructors
    • IRB Consent Forms
    • Pre-Post Tests
    • Instructor Activity Journals
    • Director, Coordinator and Community Member Surveys
    • Toolbox  pickup and delivery times
  • Common Problems and Suggestions
    • A focus on parent involvement
    • Retention


2014 STEAM Conference Success

Chicago May 3, 2014—The fourth annual STEAM Conference held at Northeastern Illinois University has once again proven to be a success!!! This year more than 700 students and parents participated in the event, attending a variety of more than 40 different hands-on STEAM workshops.

The yearly conference establiched by Aaron Cortes and Marcelo Caplan, co-chairs of the STEAM Conference was designed in collaboration between the Upward Bound Science and Math program at Northeastern Illinois University, and the Scientists for Tomorrow program at the Department of Science and Mathematics at Columbia College Chicago to facilitate middle schools and high schools students from the Chicago area to attend and also be able to present workshops to other teens fostering Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).

The STEAM Conference was held at Northeastern Illinois University Campus on 5500 N. St. Louis Avenue. Twelve Scientists for Tomorrow’s community partners sites presented several workshops at the conference. Each community partner presented one of these workshops: Go Go Gadget Light, Circuit Monster, 3, 2, 1 Balloon Powered Cart, Magic Brain, LED Multi Color Lights, Fruity DNA, Mouse trap Cars, Play-Doh Squishy Circuits, The Music of Wind-Wind Chime Making, Sound with the Wind-Wind Chime Making and Art Bot. For a large description of the workshops visit the Conference Workshop Sessions Description at the

Keynote speaker for the 2014 STEAM Conference was Georgette Yakman, founding researcher and developer of STEAM, a framework for Teaching Across the Disciplines, and Dr. Graig Wilson Ph.D, Senior Outreach Associate, DMSE, TAMU & Director for the USDA/HSINP Future Scientists program.

The conference gathered more than 700 participants and presenters at the event. Next year’s STEAM conference will be on May 2, 2015. The location will be announced. For more details of the 2014 STEAM Conference click on this link:
2014 STEAM Conference Recap.pdf

2014 Family Science Day at the Field Museum

Scientists for Tomorrow
Science Institute in the Department of Science and Mathematics
Columbia College Chicago

 Summary of Winter Session: Family Science Day
Event Host: Field Museum
Date: March 15, 2014

 On Saturday, March 15, 2014 over 550 members from 36 community-based organizations participating in the National Science Foundation (NSF), Informal Science Education (ISE) NSF-ISE Scientists for Tomorrow (SfT) program attended third annual Family Science Day at the Field Museum. The faculty and staff of the Science Institute, in the Department of Science and Mathematics in collaboration with the education department of the Field Museum, organized the event.

At the Field Museum, the event took place directly at the exhibits and classrooms.  The workshops aligned with the concepts that the participants learned in the module “Physics of Sound and Mathematics of Music.” The lessons are taught in most community sites under the supervision of Scientists for Tomorrow staff.  

Andy Hershberger, the liaison for the education department of the museum, facilitated the event. Attendees participated in planned activities, which involved three music-oriented workshops: Investigation of Musical instruments, Constructing Pan Flutes and Building Thumb Pianos. They also attended three museum exhibit explorations: Africa, Ancient Egypt and Revolving Planets.

Participants at the event included parents, children, program instructors and community leaders from 36 partnering Chicago community organization sites. Columbia College Chicago students and staff members contributed and documented the event.

The Family Science Day event at the Field Museum was designed to expand the conceptual foundation revolving the learning module of Physics of Sound and Mathematics of Music, most importantly to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) interest in all children.

We expect that the youth will share the knowledge gained within the dynamic museum environment, with the rest of the communities who have not had the chance to experience this opportunity.  Furthermore, to become more involved in future STEM activities in their centers.

The high attendance and participation of our community members made the event a success. The team leaders showed great dedication, and the children above all, expressed great interest and enjoyed the event. Children loved the fact that they were able to construct their own take home instruments when consulting and listening from museum experts.

The Field Museum staff led the workshops with great success. Site leaders along with parents, successfully managed participants around the exhibitions. In addition, the participation of our 24 teens from the Upper Bound Math and Science from Northeastern did an amazing job! These young leaders showed great enthusiasm and responsibility throughout the event. Not only were they able to keep their groups organized, but also assisted other team leaders with directions towards designated exhibitions.

Special guests included a dance performance by The Back of the Yards Ballet Folklorico. The performance called, “Concheros, ” is a compilation of Aztec dances that represented their customs in Agriculture (La danza del maiz), Sun Gods (La danza del Sol) and War (La danza de Guerra).  The ballet instructor, Emilio Corona, presented and talked about the instruments, as he made music using a sea shell, “Caracol” and a wooden “Teponaztli” slit drum. 

The following community organizations who participated in the event were:  Chicago Teachers, Enlace Chicago, United Neighborhood Organization, Logan Square Neighborhood Association, Chicago Teachers Center, Brighton Park Neighborhood, Center for Community Arts Partnership, Family Focus Inc., YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, GEMS, Three Rivers and Metropolitan Family Services.  

Scientists for Tomorrow Family Science Event 2014.PDF


Scientists for Tomorrow Field Museum Online Survey

Field-Museum-2014-thumbnailPizza-PartyThank you for coming to the Scientists for Tomorrow (SfT), “Family Science Day” at the Field Museum. For your participation you and your classmates have a chance to enter to win a Pizza Party provided by us.

All you have to do is complete the following survey online before March 22, 2014. The site that completes more than 5 surveys will win! To look for clues visit The Field Museum website.

The survey will close at 5PM on March 22, 2014.




People and Plants—Knowing our ecosystem

At Scientist for Tomorrow, we assess ourselves by measuring the success and impact we have on the community. We motivate ourselves to create a community of innovation and curiosity. Most importantly, we pride ourselves when make a difference, connect students to all that revolves around science and change their lives.
I believe humans are born scientists. As infants we start exploring our world, experimenting with objects, and learning about the mechanics of life. Soon after we mature, the mind of a scientists erodes because of some external influence that says “You can’t do that, you are not smart enough.” The dreams of many children are quickly destroyed and lose interest with science. Majority of the children grow up to be disconnected from the planet and everything that revolves around science. We, as humanity, must do our best to learn about the planet Earth. What best way to start with People and Plants! Our mission with this project is to bring that curiosity back, and connect them closer to Earth.
People and Plants will connect students to learn about our planet’s ecosystem by exposing them knowledgeably, to atmospheric activity, biodiversity and natural resources. Ultimately drawing a big picture and helping students understand that everything in this world is connected; one action–being harmful or good– will have an effect on the planet’s environments. We hope that this project will change the students way of thinking, so when they grow up and become adults, they will take more care of the planet Earth.
Ignacio Mendez

SfT Community Sites to visit the Field Museum

All of the community members affiliated with Scientists for Tomorrow are invited to participate in our annual Family Science Day event at the Field Museum March 15, 2014. Participants will be exploring the exhibits, attending workshops and building hands on activities to take home.

If you would like to attend, contact your resource coordinator of the program at your community center/s. We look forward to seeing many Parents, Students, Staff and Volunteers. This will be an enjoyable and educational experience for all of the participants!

Field Museum 2014.pdf

Field Museum 2014

Destination Chicago Recap

Scientists for Tomorrow (SfT) would like to thank everyone who participated at the Destination Chicago Festival. More than 400 people came to the festival held at the DePaul Center. There were raffles, art activities and workshops provided by informal science education venues. The Scientists for Tomorrow, 3,2,1 Go!!!  Balloon Powered Kart  workshop had more than 40 participants per session. SfT also gave the parents and teens the option of soldering and making name plates out of copper.

Thank you to SfT’s community partners who came to the event. It was great to see many of the coordinators and families from Richard Edwards Elementary,  Rosario Castellanos Elementary, Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy, Mount Vernon Elementary School and John C. Burroughs Elementary School participate at Destination Chicago. We hope to see many of you participate in future events.