Co-founders Stephanie Sang and Logan Leak pitched their idea to create elementary Science Olympiad programs in CPS elementary schools as part of their application to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference that was held on the campus of the University of Chicago in fall of 2018. The two attended the conference, and, along with networking with change-makers from around the world and attending useful workshops, received funding from the Resolution Project to launch their initiative starting in the fall of 2019. They have also since received funding from the Dean’s Fund and the Women’s Board at the University of Chicago. During the school year, they also recruited a base of volunteers to serve as the board of the initiative.

The board met weekly during the academic year, and the group focused on two main goals: creating a pilot program during this past academic year and planning for the launch of the main initiative this upcoming fall. The group implemented the pilot program at the University of Chicago Charter Elementary School at North Kenwood/Oakland. After administering pre- and post-surveys, it was evident that the students become more interested in and comfortable with science as a result of the program, serving as a proof-of-concept for the model.

The group is now focused on recruiting five schools to serve as the initial cohort of the program. They are currently accepting applications from CPS elementary schools that might be interested in starting a program. Please email uchicago.eso@gmail.com with any questions or to submit an application, which can be found here.

Thank you to our backers and also to our current board members Logan Leak, Stephanie Sang, Sam Gartner, Rachel Gleyzer, Peter Camporeale, Oliver Tsang, Elisabeth Incardona, Nikita Kuklev, Lisa Lin, Jeffrey Huang, Maggie Hayes, and Katie Whitlow