Press Release – Curiosity Academy is Recruiting!

Curiosity Academy, a Community Based Girls’ STEM Program is Recruiting

Flint, MI (9/14/15) Curiosity Academy, a community based STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics concepts) program for girls is recruiting new students!

Students will have an exciting opportunity to explore STEM concepts through a variety of activities which supported their academic coursework and curiosity in science and related fields. Plans for this year’s program include fun topics such as:

  • Rocketry
  • Building Batteries
  • Making Catapults
  • Dissecting Owl Pellets
  • Evaluating Environmental Impacts
  • Much more!

Curiosity Academy is a collaborative community based program for 6th-8th grade girls in Genesee County.  The partnering institutions, Kettering University, Sloan Longway, and the University of Michigan-Flint worked collaboratively to form this year-long afterschool community STEM club for girls. The program aims to provide a risk free opportunity to explore STEM concepts without the pressure of grades or standardized tests and encourage females to pursue further studies in STEM fields while providing positive role models.

Curiosity Academy was developed in 2014 by:

  • Monique Wilhelm, a lecturer and the lab manager for the chemistry and biochemistry department at UM-Flint,
  • Essence Wilson, Kettering University alumnae and co-founder of Communities First, Inc.,
  • Samantha Grathoff, lab coordinator and community engagement liaison  for the chemistry and biochemistry department at UM-Flint,
  • Laurie Bone, senior curator of programs at Sloan Longway,
  • Virginia Hill, coordinator of pre-college programs at Kettering University.

The collaborative approach presents a sustainable model for youth programming as each institution brings unique experience and resources to the table.

The positive impact of the program is clear to directors, students and parents. Sonal Gupta, parent of a Curiosity Academy student, commented about her daughter “When I see her walk confidently through the halls of U of M and Kettering I feel so happy that as a Middle schooler she has the exposure that would intimidate even older kids. Everything else that she has learnt there is a bonus!!”

The program is currently recruiting students for the 2015-2016 school year.  Up to 25 girls will be accepted and the cost is $150.  Tuition assistance is available to those who need it.  Applications are due October 14th and the program begins October 19th.  For more information, please visit or call Samantha Grathoff at (810) 762-3277.

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