Project Syncere: giving more knowledge to youth

Have you sometimes felt that school does not give you enough of the knowledge you want or need? Have you felt that the academic program at your children´s school is missing something? Or when children become teenagers and they are curious about many things, does school provide them with information that will cover their curiosity?

Well, there were three teenagers in Chicago that felt that they needed more from education. They understood the power of education combined with the power that technology gives people and they wanted more. They created SYNCERE. Syncere stands for Supporting Youth’s Needs with Core Engineering Research Experiments and they focus on giving more options to young underprivileged children that have the curiosity to keep researching. Let’s take a look at what they are all about.

The Project SYNCERE as said before was born from the minds of 3  three African American men who understood that if they wanted more from education in the fields they wanted, they had to do something about it. They were just not happy with the way they were taught and the amount of diversification in their fields of engineering and financial management. So from this situation, SYNCERE was born to encourage and embrace students to further study or research on topics that have to do with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

Their mission is simple: they provide STEM programs for underprivileged communities and they aim to increase the number of students and volunteers within communities that do not have the possibility of studying to study a career in STEM fields. This project gives the students the possibility to study STEM subjects using a project-based learning approach.

The project was launched in 2009 and it has benefited more than 5000 students until today. SYNCERE takes its engineering programs directly to school districts and local universities to reach students first hand. With their school day and out-of-school time activities they aim to change the way math and science are taught. They use a hands-on approach so math and science can become fun to learn and apply.

The founders

As said before, 3 African Americans had this amazing idea:

Jason Coleman:  Co-Founder and Executive Director. He was the brain behind the project and took his experience in the aerospace industry and in the mobile phone industry to apply it to SYNCERE.

Seun Phillips – Co-Founder : this is the guy responsible for the branding and for expanding the reach that SYNCERE can have. He is also a teacher in research strategies, he tutors students in math and science and provides lectures for teachers and college students.

George Wilson – Co-Founder and Director of Finance: this guy is in charge of the money. His experience at Northwestern University is very useful because he understands how grant proposal budgets and managing funds for university faculties work and are managed.

Their main program: the E-CADEMY

The E-CADEMY program is aimed at students that are in grades 6-8 and 9-11 so they can get very well prepared to continue a career in STEM programs. They use the Project Lead The Way curriculum and they study over the course of 32-weeks during the school year to develop the skills and knowledge that they need to continue to the post-secondary level. The program aims at motivating and preparing students to pursue careers in engineering from an early stage and with a fun approach to STEM topics. Some of the program goals are to learn to use a software in order to realistically solve engineering problems; create solutions to engineering design challenges; acquire communication, critical thinking and  collaboration knowledge to be applied in the future.

The program is divided into two parts: the GATEWAY (MIDDLE SCHOOL) program and the PRO (HIGH SCHOOL) program.

GATEWAY (MIDDLE SCHOOL)

The E-CADEMY Gateway Program is aimed at students that are in grades 6 to 8.  The objective of the program is to give early knowledge on STEM topics to students that show a real interest and to provide them with the chance of developing skills and knowledge to be a great engineer that can solve real life problems. The program uses the same advanced software and tools that big companies use so students learn how to apply science, technology, engineering and math in real life with real tools that are being used in the world.

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Image courtesy of U.S. Army RDECOM at Flickr.com

PRO (HIGH SCHOOL)

The E-CADEMY Pro Program is a program aimed at students in grades 9-11. This program prepares students to pursue a career in STEM topics and gives them the necessary opportunities to develop the technical skills and knowledge to be a successful engineering student. This program is taught face to face but also has an experiential component that takes place within the summer.

Did you like this charity institution? Be sure to also check this post on a charity that is helping women in the Chicago area.

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