Three-Week Program for Chicago Students in Englewood Stirs Interest in STEM

July 10, 2014

While Englewood in Chicago, IL may not have the best reputation nationally, one program, SEEK, is changing that this summer.

While the Englewood neighborhood may be best known these days as a killing ground overrun with gangs, that's not all that's going on in this section of Chicago.

Summer Engineering Experience for Kids or SEEK is a three-week summer engineering program aimed to capture the attention of teachers and students alike and foster enthusiasm for STEM.

The program was launched in Chicago on July 7 at Miles Davis Magnet Academy, a STEM-focused school in Englewood.

Students will be making gliders, gravity cruisers, steel-can rovers and other gizmos and contraptions. Approximately 150 third-fifth graders will be attending full-day sessions through July 25th.  Fridays will be competition days where gizmo goes head-to-head against another created gizmo to see which team has built the best one.

SEEK originally started in 2007 in Alexandria, VA via the headquarters of the National Society of Black Engineers.  Seven years later, the program will be hosted in 11 different states including Jackson, Miss. and Atlanta, GA.

The curriculum for this year's program has been provided by the Society of Automotive Engineers International and volunteers from Chicago NSBE Professionals chapter will be teaching the Chicago program.

The future looks bright for SEEK and the growing number of STEM programs around the nation.

"I want to see the day where we have national leaders and professional engineers who start in SEEK out of Chicago," said NSBE Executive Director Karl Reid.

Read Chicago Tribune's full article here.