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These Philly youth STEM programs are getting a boost from the state


A handful of local programs have earned grants from Gov. Tom Wolf’s PAsmart, a $10.8 million fund to expand access to computer science and STEM education.

University City Science Center’s FirstHand STEM program for middle and high school students received nearly $188,000. FirstHand, launched in 2014, offers project-based and career-exposing programing to local schools and community organizations. Throughout 2020, the program worked with more than 250 middle and high schoolers from 12 Philly schools.

When learning turned virtual in March, the Science Center sent out custom STEM kits to students’ homes so they could continue hands-on learning at home. By July of last year, two new programs had been developed using the STEM kits, and from September to December, new chemistry and material science programs were developed with the custom STEM kits for weekly sessions and experiments, the org said.

Media Contact:

Kristen Fitch

Kristen Fitch

Senior Director, Marketing