The core purpose of the KAYSC is to empower youth to change our world through science! The KAYSC engages 100 youth yearly in grades 7-12 in out-of-school-time (OST) science programming afterschool, on Saturdays, and during the summer.
Programs target students from communities underrepresented in STEM disciplines:
- 75% of participants are from low-income families
- 60% are girls
- 90% are youth of color
Middle school youth start as service-learning volunteers in 7th grade and can progress to paid positions during high school, and as alumni interns after graduation from high school. Youth work in theme-based "teams," and build competencies in youth leadership, career development, and science literacy that they in turn share with their communities. Youth on KAYSC teams develop community service-learning projects and lead hands-on STEM workshops/outreaches for younger youth (pre-K through 6 grades) in their communities. These workshops are developed in collaboration with other organizations that lead Out of School Time workshops at various venues throughout the Twin Cities.
Since its inception, the KAYSC has engaged over 1000 participants. Last year alone, the KAYSC reached over 50,000 museum visitors and 5,000 children on outreaches in over 25 different community sites.