Urban Science Corps
The Urban Science Corps creates causal pathways for urban youth to become science-savvy, that is, to think scientifically, to enact creative science scenarios, and to achieve recognition as bona fide members of the science community.
The Urban Science Corps invests in creativity and talent development of urban youth to ensure that they are encouraged and well prepared to enter the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) community. Founded by Dr. Richard Shope in May 2006, sparked by the desire to provide poverty alleviation and community enterprise through direct access to high quality science education and direct workforce experiences.
The Urban Science Corps recruits and mobilizes Science Champions, science and engineering professionals who agree to Mentor urban youth. The undergraduate and high school students who train to become science-savvy Inquiry Coaches take part in real world science research projects, utilizing mobile field science labs that bring the world of scientific inquiry into the urban community. The Inquiry Coaches form Research Squads with younger urban youth and guide them through Inquiry Expeditions at after school programs, recreation centers, community centers, museums, and science centers. Drawn from local schools and colleges, Inquiry Coaches are trained as participatory action researchers and catalysts to develop creativity and talent among urban youth.
ECOSYSTEMS Model: ECOSYSTEMS = Enterprising Community Organizations Selecting Youth for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Sustainability
The Urban Science Corps leverages ties with Urban ECOSYSTEMS that provide direct services to urban youth in after school programs, primarily at neighborhood recreation, community, and science centers in urban settings. Within each urban community, the Urban Science Corps deploys a tiered mentoring and coaching connection among: Science Champions– scientists and science educators, and other STEM experts, who MENTOR: Inquiry Coaches– science-savvy graduate, undergraduate, and high school students; who in turn COACH: Research Squads– upper elementary, middle school, high school students participating in afterschool, recreation, community, museum and science center settings; who in turn, complete Inquiry Expeditions, and PERFORM: Science Mimes– Community Performances at Inquiry Expedition Events.
The Urban Science Corps is a project of the World Space Foundation, a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 corporation and a member of the Youth Science Alliance (youthsciencealliance.org).
NASA & the Urban Science Corps
In Celebration of the International Polar Year 2007-2009 and NASA’s Year of the Solar System 2011, the Urban Science Corps has been carrying out an Education & Public Outreach effort funded by NASA’s Earth and Space Science Mission Directorate, entitled ArctiQuest: Enter the Cryosphere, utilizing the NASA educational product Exploring Ice in the Solar System, authored by Dr. Shope.