Philadelphia, PA (April 18, 2011) – It’s better than the Magic School Bus – it’s volunteers bringing science to life for more than 1,000 inter‐city students. The students will be honored on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Bossone Research Center at Drexel University. The 5th Annual ifunction Awards and Fundraising reception honors the winners of the iPraxis intera‐school science fairs a culmination of a year long program .
The program was created and sponsored by iPraxis. It’s an effective program that enriches the delivery of science education in some of Philadelphia's lowest‐performing neighborhood schools. The goal of the enrichment activities is to spark an interest in the sciences among all students in the classrooms we touch. “Scienteers” are volunteers who come out of academia, biotech, life science industry to work with the students.
Volunteer N’Namdi “Bill” Speed, Martha Washington Elementary Alma, first year participant:
“I absolutely enjoyed the experience and I’m hoping that I can participate next year. I learned so much. First, it was neat having the opportunity to go back to my alma mater. It’s been years since I’ve been there, so it was good to see how much the school and the community have changed. Second, I enjoyed working with the students. We picked a project that we were all fully engaged in. It was good to see the kids asking questions and showing an interest in learning about how science affects their everyday life…”
Davida Carter ‐ 7th Grade Student ‐ Martha Washington School "I liked the project we did because it had to do with electricity and energy and how it works. I liked the science fair because we got to use equipment and it's more fun to learn that way."
John Brown – PGW employee and Scienteer "It was so much fun to watch my team grow, to see things from another side, and to learn about science and team dynamics. In a way, I learned more about myself as well."
iPRAXIS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in the Science Center, in the heart of Philadelphia’s University City. iPRAXIS acts at the intersection of information technology and the life sciences, commerce and academia – ideally situated to bring the benefits of the knowledge economy to the people most in need—underserved school children in the city of Philadelphia. Their initiatives focus on improving science education, especially increasing the participation of minorities in the business of science, and guaranteeing that scientific breakthroughs benefit everyone. I invite you to visit their website at www.ipraxis.org for more information.