More than 40 participants of Southern Echo’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) program participated in a tour of the Infinity Science Museum on June 25, 2021. The STEM program is a track in Southern Echo’s Youth Empowerment 4 Scholars (YES!), and its goal is to expose students from diverse backgrounds to STEM learning and technology.
Participants experienced the future exploration of Mars in the X-SPHERE-ience Theater, the Earth and Space Galleries simulators, artifacts, video theaters, Smithsonian-loaned artifacts, and a life-sized, walk-through mockup of the International Space Station’s Destiny module. They learned about space suit technology, new space rockets, and pre-Apollo history. They also viewed a progression of NASA programs from Apollo and Gemini to the International Space Station and the new SLS program, designed to take the first humans to Mars.
Southern Echo will continue its STEM program by offering its ASTRO Camp beginning Thursday, July 1, 2021. The virtual camp is opened to participants 8 to 18 years of age. The goal of Astro Camp is to inspire future scientists, astronauts, engineers, and mathematicians.
Tracey Milton, a participant, stated that the field trip exposed youth to a new world of science that they don’t typically get to see in their everyday lives. Milton also noted that youth participants were able to engage in hands-on science activities in a fun learning environment.
According to Rachel Mayes, Executive Director of Southern Echo, Inc., “It is more important than ever that our young participants are exposed to and can see themselves in STEM fields of work.” Mayes continued, stating, “Field trips like this move the horizon line for what’s possible. They can see that they really can be and do anything they put their minds to.” Southern Echo’s STEM program will continue with STEM workshops, hands-on-activities (if permissible with COVID-19 guidelines), guest presenters, and additional tours. The STEM program will provide the mechanism whereby Southern Echo can make a comprehensive investment in the training of youth in Mississippi.
Southern Echo, Inc. is a comprehensive, intergenerational leadership organization whose primary goal is to empower grassroot community leaders to impact the formation and implementation of public policy. Southern Echo aggressively educates and trains underrepresented minorities with the political, educational, economic, and environmental tools necessary to become community leaders. Southern Echo’s geographical area of concentration is the State of Mississippi and the southern region.
For additional information about Southern Echo and its STEM program, call (601) 214-3601, or visit us at www.southernecho.org.