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Shoot for the Stars program expanding

A previous participant in the Shoot for the Stars program

A previous participant in the Shoot for the Stars program

The College's innovative Shoot for the Stars program is back for summer 2019, with expanded outreach to benefit more local students. This summer, St. Scholastica will host three week-long STEM enrichment programs designed to spark passion for STEM in low-income and underrepresented students. The program is led by Donna Kirk, mathematics instructor, with Tim Trygstad, associate professor of chemistry.

Together with Lincoln Park Middle School, for the past two years the College has offered a week-long STEM Institute for middle school students. Students and staff at Lincoln Park have been heavily engaged in this transformative academic enrichment opportunity. This summer, with leadership support from the U.S. Department of Education and the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, as well as grants from other local organizations, St. Scholastica is adding a second-year Institute for middle school students and premiering a high-school program for Upward Bound students from Denfeld High School and other high schools in the region. All institutes will take place in June, with Institute I running June 10-14, Institute II June 17-21, and the high school institute June 24-28. Up to 30 students can attend each institute.

STEM learning at the institutes centers around the designing, building, and launching of rockets, an exciting and memorable application of STEM concepts. According to organizers, these hands-on activities help participants see math and science fields as fun, accessible, and applicable to their daily lives and future education and employment. In the long term, this program will build pathways that lead traditionally underrepresented students to success in STEM postsecondary programs and to high-paying STEM careers.

In addition to the summer institutes, the program has offered an academic-year STEM club to provide additional enrichment activities.

The Shoot for the Stars program and expansion has funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education, the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, the Rotary Club of Duluth, Kiwanis of Friendly Duluth, and Enbridge.