- Support Us
- About Us
Headwaters Science Center—Bemidji, MNProject Name: Teens Teaching Science (project overview poster)
To create opportunities for inspirational discovery and the joy of lifelong learning through science, technology, and art.
Laddie Elwell and Kitura Main
HSC helped train staff and ten or more youth from Boys and Girls Clubs of the Bemidji area and Red Lake Nation to lead after-school science activities at their respective clubs. The science activity kits they developed travelled between the two clubs. Teens who completed the program received &36;250, a family museum membership and a certificate at the end of the year.
We expect this project to give teenagers chances to lead youngsters through science-based activities with adult support and that the involved youngsters will have good experiences in science as a result. In the long range, we expect these experiences to help these children develop wiser career choices and better employment opportunities.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Bemidji Area and Red Lake Nation will each identify at least 5 students between the ages of 15 and 18 to be trained as "Teen Teachers" by Headwaters Science Center staff to teach science activities in after school programs at their respective clubs. These students and their adult leader will work with HSC staff once or twice a month for 8 months through the school year to learn how to lead specific activities with youngsters at their B&G Clubs and will help assemble the kits that they will use in the activities. Teen Teachers who complete the program will receive a small (&36;250?) cash bonus at the end of the year along with a certificate and membership for their families in HSC. At the end of the year there will be a celebratory party at HSC to which families will be invited. Children will be encouraged to demonstrate special skills or activities they have learned at this event and investigate the Center's exhibit floor. HSC staff will provide an exciting scientific show and refreshments or a meal will be served. Regular science club members will receive day passes to HSC.
We have worked with 4 Teen Leaders at Bemidji B&G Club, 3 at Red Lake, and 3 at Cass Lake. We have met 2 to 6 times a month through the school year, though it was late starting because of problems in the organizations involved. The Teen Leaders came to HSC for training and, at a later date, worked with younger children at their own clubs. Red Lake and Cass Lake Teens assisted with kit preparation and material selections in stores. Our celebratory party will take place in the summer at HSC. At that time we will have lunch and awards for the Teen Leaders and their families, and some of the regular participants in the LP Science Clubs will also be invited.
History of Partnership
All Boys and Girls Club staff members have participated in ongoing workshops at Headwaters Science Center to bring quality after school programming to their facility. Youngsters from all three B&G Clubs visit HSC periodically. Red Lake children are bused to HSC through the school year and summer and HSC staff attended the grand opening of B&G Club.
Relationships with all three Clubs continue to progress with increasing contacts.
Description of youth
Most of the youngsters come from low-income, troubled backgrounds and have very little science enrichment in their lives.
Number of youth recruited
We recruited a total of 10 Teen Leaders and about 30 youngsters.
Recruited by B&G Club staff.
Role(s) on the project
Teens were trained by HSC staff to conduct hands-on science activities with younger children.
Comments by youth or their families about the project
Native American youth are not highly verbal, but they expressed their pleasure by saying it was "fun", said "Thank you!"—and laughed a lot! Family members were not present, but adult Club staff were enthusiastic about the program.
Assumptions We Made
Those proven false:
Those proven true:
Insights We Gained