Students 2 Science (S2S) provides authentic, hands-on STEM laboratory experiences, complete with sophisticated instruments and professional scientists. The S2S Technology Center in East Hanover, New Jersey, houses approximately 5,000 sq. feet of commercial laboratory space equipped with over $4 million of laboratory instrumentation to perform wet chemistry, organic chemistry, chromatography, spectroscopy, biology, botany, biotechnology, ecology, environmental science, computer science, engineering, and robotics.
- In order for our nation to compete in a global economy we need to increase the number of students who graduate from college and pursue STEM careers. Beginning STEM exposure in elementary school is critical to the long term success of our students.
- STEM education programs in the country are dramatically under-resourced, particularly in communities of poverty.
- According to the National Science Board, test scores for U.S. students in STEM subjects drop rapidly after 8th grade. By the end of 12th grade, our students’ proficiency in STEM subjects is below the average of other industrialized nations.
- S2S’s ISAAC (
Improving Student Affinity and Aptitude for Careers in STEM) program inspires, motivates, and educates middle school students to pursue STEM in high school and learn through career exploration and project-based learning.
- 90% of high school students surveyed expressed interest in STEM. Our objective is to make career alternatives and their earning potential clear, so students continue on the path to receive STEM certificates and post-secondary degrees in STEM fields.
- S2S’s Virtual Laboratory (V-Lab) program is designed to meet our ISAAC objectives, while shifting needed support to educators by providing professional development and technical assistance to elementary, middle, and high school teachers.
We have developed three innovative programs for accomplishing our mission.
- The ISAAC (
Improving Student Affinity and Aptitude for Careers in STEM) Program, conducted at the S2S Technology Center in East Hanover, New Jersey
- The Virtual Laboratory (V-Lab) Program
- Teacher Professional Development Services
In our ISAAC program, middle and high school students have the opportunity to participate in multiple visits to our Technology Center to maximize impact and develop practical skills. Students conduct rigorous, age-appropriate experiments designed to reinforce Next Generation Science Standards. They are also provided with coaching and mentoring – all students work alongside successful scientists and technical entrepreneurs, many with PhDs.
- Engage middle school students with three visits to our S2S Technology Center over the course of a school year.
- Offer the opportunity to perform challenging and age-appropriate experiments (4 per day) using scientific methods to solve contemporary problems. S2S uses analytical chemistry to introduce students to a wide variety of STEM disciplines and careers. The three major topics covered during the visits are matter, solutions, and separations. Specific examples include exploring the world of product development and formulations as students develop their own sunscreen and test them versus commercially available products. Additionally, students experience a life in the day of an environmental scientist as they test samples of beach sand to determine the impact of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Create excitement in students as they work in an authentic laboratory environment and are provided with a clear vision of a great career opportunity. According to their teachers, these students are much more likely to participate in class, complete homework assignments and prepare for tests after participating in the ISAAC program.
- Engage high school students in highly technical one-day experiences, e.g., the Pharmaceutical Day Program, which presents students with a challenge to confirm and identify contaminants in an over-the-counter drug.
- Offer future opportunities to take part in programs in forensics, bio-technology, engineering, and computer science, among others.
- Present career alternatives and make their earning potential clear, so students continue on the path to higher education and careers in STEM fields.
Our V-Lab program was designed to eliminate the geographic and language constraints of the ISAAC program, broadening our reach to serve a wider audience. S2S is no longer limited to those students, teachers, and volunteers who reside within commuting distance of the Technology Center in East Hanover. V-Lab gives us the means to expand our services nationally and globally, and to significantly impact the lives of tens of thousands more students. S2S continues to demonstrate what is possible by making these offerings available to all students, including children with special needs.
S2S, in partnership with Connectivity, Inc., and in collaboration with the American Chemical Society, has developed a fully interactive, web-based, hybrid, distance-learning program to support elementary, middle, and high school science curricula. The V-Lab Program uses Connectivity’s proprietary communications platform to enable students (grades 4-12) in their classrooms or non-traditional settings and the S2S Technology Center to simultaneously conduct a series of supplemental, age-appropriate, hands-on science experiments. Volunteer professionals provide in-class mentoring and instruction. S2S provides the kits and recruits local STEM professionals through its network of supporting corporations. Teachers are supported by this program in their efforts to present core curriculum subjects. S2S provides training and technical assistance to the educators, in order to support rigorous science offerings.
School administrators and principals send elementary, middle and high school teachers to observe and/or serve as Assistant Instructors in the ISAAC program. Just one day at our laboratory can serve as 6 hours towards professional development for the year. S2S programs demonstrate Next Generation Science Standards (listed below) and promote problem- and project-based learning, providing teachers with increased confidence and technical assistance.
- Emphasis on hands-on activities and project-based learning
- Interaction with professionals from the private sector and exposure to workforce readiness skills
- Use of programs that are research- and evidence-based
- Employment of programs that are rigorous and consistent with college and career readiness
- Adherence to the goal of preparing students for success in the 21st century global economy
Going forward, our strategic plan involves the implementation of a Teacher Professional Development Boot Camp program during the 2016-2017 academic years.
For more information about our Teacher Professional Development program, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.