SfT instructor- First Term Experience

I was first introduced to the Scientists for Tomorrow initiative in a rather vicarious manner through the vibrant teachings of Marcelo Caplan. Before he became my mentor, co-worker, and overall wealth of knowledge for all things related to education, he was my professor. One afternoon, he invited my fellow classmates and myself to attend the STEAM conference he was hosting at NEIU. That gave me the opportunity to see how many people were in fact benefiting from the work done by the Scientists for Tomorrow team, of which each member carried the same form of excitement and enthusiasm for the proverbial “wow” moment I myself now try to introduce the children I teach to.

My very first class was also my most stressful one, only because I had never evaluated my public speaking skills in front of children. That said, once I stepped into the classroom and introduced myself to the class, the atmosphere became very fluid and comfortable. I treated every class as a learning experience for both myself and  the children in my classroom.

The Professional Developments really helped me keep a solid pace with the curriculum I was teaching. Not only that, but they provided an environment that invited all of the instructors to get a better understanding of the tools and materials that they would be using, including a chance to ask questions and get advice from Marcelo and Evelyn, who were always more than willing to help explain certain concepts or send over lesson plans and extra materials when needed.

As an instructor, I was given the opportunity to take part in many of the events that Scientists for Tomorrow put on over the course of the semester, such as the Fiesta Familiar (held at the Lincoln Park Zoo) and Family Science Day (held at the Museum of Science and Industry). Not only did those events give me a chance to interact more broadly with the families of the children I taught, but managing large groups of one-hundred or more people over the course of an afternoon definitely helped strengthen my time management skills and allowed me a chance to see children interact with family and friends, as well as impart them with the same knowledge and interesting facts that we covered over the course of our ten weeks together.

Being part of the Scientists for Tomorrow initiative has given me the chance to meet some of the most diligent educators, including some of the most ambitious children I have ever had the pleasure of interacting with. Their tenacity and perpetual movement towards success and accomplishment has made my time with Scientists for Tomorrow more than worthwhile, and I look forward to meeting and working with the next group of talented young minds and hopefully giving them a chance to chase and realize their own “wow” moment.

By: Filip Zadro -SfT instructor at Shields Elementary School and Senior at Columbia College Chicago majoring in Audio and Design Production.

8th grade/High school Spring 2015 Programs

2015 Spring Programs- 8th Grade Girls
After School Matters (ASM) is looking for 8th grade girls who attend James Hedges Elementary to participate in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) after school program, Scientists for Tomorrow. Girls must attend Hedges in order to participate.
- Learn about the Physics of Music and build three musical instruments using hand tools.
- Participate and present at the STEAM Conference May 2, 2015 where they will get a certificate and recommendation letter.
- Visit and explore the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum for free with their families at the Family Science Day May 23, 2015
- Learn about other programs where high school teens get paid to learn and have FUN through After School Matters!
Contact dcortes@scientistsfortomorrow.org

High School Teen STEM Program
The Junior Research Scientists program at Columbia College Chicago is looking for teens interested in learning about Astronomy, Solar Energy and other STEM related topics. The program begins in February and runs Tuesday and Thursdays from 4:30 to 7:30pm at Columbia College Chicago.
- Design, engineer, and build solar power and astronomy based projects!
- Conduct college level research and science projects in a college setting. Gain real work experience and work with established scientists.
- Teens conduct collaborative research projects and increase their competence in conducting scientific investigations by designing and building personalized products such as a programmable solar powered rover and a desktop planetarium (nanotarium).
- Participants present their results of their engineering designs and research through oral presentations supplemented with PowerPoint slides and physical models in a public symposium at the College. The symposium is attended by participants’ friends and family, members of the scientific, engineering, and artistic communities, and the community at large.
- Attend and present at the STEAM Conference May 2, 2015
To apply register at http://afterschoolmatters.org/teens
Look for: Junior Research Scientists-Columbia College Chicago
This is an Advanced Apprenticeship and participants will be eligible for a small stipend through After school Matters. For more information contact eoropeza@scientistsfortomorrow.org





Fiesta Familiar 2014- Summary Report

Fiesta Familiar 2014- Summary Report
Chicago – Hoy hosted their 2nd annual Fiesta Familiar 2014 at Lincoln Park Zoo, drawing hundreds of families to explore activities integrating arts, music, science and gardening. The event held on Saturday, September 27, 2014, featured special performances by Mexican Telenovela actor Carlos Espejel and the Mexican Folklore Dance Company of Chicago.

Community Organizations sponsoring the festival presented various activities in one of the five pavilions:
–       In the Arts & Crafts pavilion, organizations featured a coloring contest, building and decorating a paper carousel, a Don Quixote coloring activity, as well as the making of a superhero cape.
–       The Health & Nutrition pavilion had many games for families of all ages as well as free health screenings. Games included bag toss, Mexican bingo (lotería) game, building blocks and spin-the-wheel contests.
–       The Home & Gardening pavilion, was informative as staff members taught families about animal habitats, flower bed gardening, including a Fun “Moolah” activity.
–       The Music & Entertainment pavilion, which was held outdoors, had a main stage which showcased special guest appearances, dance groups, clowns and much more.
–       The Science & Technology Pavilion located in the Kovler Lion House had a special event held by Mad Science Chicago who taught activities such as Dry Ice Capades, Fundamental Forces and Sonic Sounds. Scientists for Tomorrow (SfT) participated in the event by hosting six exciting hands-on activities throughout the day taught by Marcelo Caplan, Associate Professor in the Science and Math Department at Columbia College Chicago.

In the Scientists for Tomorrow workshop, the first three sets of workshops were the Go Go Gadget Light where participants explored the concepts of energy and conduction of electricity. There were 20 participants in each workshop; six by members from the Boys Scouts and Cubs Scouts of America. The enjoyment of the activities was personified by the participant’s emotions and feedback. One of the boys scouts mother said she heard great things about the Scientists for Tomorrow workshop last year, so she brought her sons this year to participate in the myriad activities offered by the program. To her and many other families, the activities created a bonding opportunity. We saw parents and children working together, children teaching parents, and parents teaching children. Both parties felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment because the Go Go Gadget Light was a difficult concept for participants with no background knowledge. Their reactions were a testament to the success of the Scientists for Tomorrow program.

In the afternoon many families lined up to make their own Balloon Powered Kart which introduced the basic ideas of Newton’s Third Law of Motion. Before starting, all the chairs were filled with children waiting to see Newton’s Third Law of Motion in action. The variety of colors attracted the gaze of many people passing by. During the explanation of the Third Law, Marcelo, with a red face, pumped carbon dioxide into the balloon until it expanded beyond his field of vision. With great excitement, the audience cheered as Marcelo unleashed the mighty force of its balloon. The end result–the balloon zigzagging through the air–lifting the mood of the audience. This made the Balloon Powered Kart an enjoyable activity. Throughout the day, Scientists for Tomorrow had over 200 participants who left home with either a Balloon Kart or Gadget Light.

Fiesta Familiar is the largest Hispanic event in the Midwest, drawing thousands of participants each year to celebrate cultural activities and performances in different Pavilions throughout the Zoo. For more information visit www.fiestafamiliar.com


Diversion en el Zoológico Lincoln Park—Fiesta Familiar 2014
Chicago – El periódico Hoy celebró su segundo evento, Fiesta Familiar 2014, en el zoológico, Lincoln Park Zoo, trayendo cientos de familias a explorar actividades en las artes plásticas, música, ciencia y jardinería. El evento tuvo lugar el sábado 27 de Septiembre de 2014, y contó con las actuaciones especiales de el actor de Telenovelas mexicanas, Carlos Espejel y la compañía de la danza folklórica mexicana de Chicago.

Las organizaciones comunitarias que patrocinaron el evento presentaron varias actividades en uno de los cinco pabellones:

En el pabellón de Las Artes Plásticas, varias organizaciones presentaron varias actividades: un concurso donde los participantes construyeron un carrusel de papel y luego lo decoraron, actividades en el tema de Don Quijote y otro grupo diseñaba capas de superhéroes.
El pabellón de Nutrición y Salud tenía muchos juegos para las familias y sus miembros de todas las edades. El pabellón tenía un área reservada para exámenes de salud gratuito.El pabellón de la Casa & Jardinería, funcionarios enseñaron a las familias sobre diferentes hábitats, actividades básicas de jardinería urbana y más.
El pabellón de Entretenimiento y Música tuvo un escenario principal que mostró apariciones especiales, grupos de danza, payasos y mucho más.

Situado en la casa de León Kovler del zoológico, estuvo el pabellón de Ciencia y Tecnología donde dos organizaciones Mad Science de Chicago y Scientists for Tomorrow (SfT) de Columbia College Chicago presentaron diversas actividades en Ciencia y Tecnología para toda la familia. Mad Science enseñó actividades en relación con el hielo seco, fuerzas fundamentales de la naturaleza y sonidos.. Los científicos para mañana, presentaron seis emocionantes talleres prácticas durante todo el día dirigido por Marcelo Caplan, profesor asociado del Departamento de Ciencias y Matemáticas del colegio Columbia College Chicago.

En los tres primeros talleres que presentó SfT, los participantes exploraron los conceptos de energía, electricidad y como la electricidad circula en un conductor. Cada taller incluyo más de 20 participantes.En uno de los talleres participaron seis miembros de los Boys Scout y cachorros de América. Las actividades fueron personificados por emociones y retroalimentación de los participantes. Uno de los miembros de Boys Scouts trajo a su mama. La madre dijo que escuchó grandes cosas acerca de SfT el año pasado, así que ella trajo a sus hijos este año para participar en el taller. Como en este caso y entre muchas otras familias, las actividades presentadas por SfT abrieron una oportunidad para que padres y los niños trabajen y aprendan juntos. Los niños enseñaban a los padres y los padres enseñaban a los niños. Ambas partes sentían una sensación abrumadora de logro cuando finalizaba la construcción de su propio “Conductometro”, un aparato para medir que materiales conducen electricidad y cuales no, y con el probaban distintos materiales a su alrededor.

En las tarde muchas familias se alinearon para hacer su propio carrito impulsado con un globo, “Balloon Powered Kart” que introdujo las ideas básicas de la tercera ley de Newton. Antes de empezar, todas las sillas estaban llenas de niños esperando para construir su carrito. La variedad de colores de los globos atrajo a la mirada de muchas personas que pasaban. Durante la explicación de la tercera ley, Marcelo, con una cara roja, infló el globo hasta que se expandió más allá de su campo de visión. Con una gran emoción, el público aplaudió a Marcelo mientras que desataba la fuerza poderosa de su globo. El resultado final–el globo zigzagueando a través del aire– Luego los participantes se pusieron manos a la obra!!!, Cortaron maderas, construyeron el chassis del carrito,, le pusieron las ruedas, le montaron el globo propulsor lo inflaron y los carritos comenzaron a andar!!!

Durante todo el día SfT condujo 6 talleres en los cuales más de 200 participantes se llevaron a la casa una inolvidable experiencia, aprender ciencia y tecnología con la familia y también el producto de su trabajo: un “Conductometro” o un Carrito propulsado por un globo. Pero lo mas importante, es la experiencia: toda la familia trabajando y aprendiendo juntos!!!.

PDF. Fiesta Familiar 2014 Report in English
PDF. Fiesta Familiar 2014 Report in Spanish


Fiesta Familiar 2014 – Hoy from Scientists for Tomorrow on Vimeo.