The Science Leadership Academy Middle School (SLAMS), a School District middle school in the Promise Neighborhood, focuses on inquiry-based science, technology, mathematics, and entrepreneurship within a project-based environment. The students work weekly with Drexel University and other community partners through mini-courses funded by the West Philadelphia Promise Neighborhood grant.
Drexel’s ExCITe Center (Expressive and Creative Interactions Technologies) was host to one of the twelve mini-courses on Wednesdays throughout the winter. With walls adorned with artwork and ambient music piping through, the ExCITe Center’s open workspace was ideal for creating and imagining.
The six-week STEM mini-course, “Making Music,” brought together Drexel faculty, students from Penn and Drexel, and high school students from Science Leadership Academy to mentor thirteen middle schoolers. Their goal was to design and build a musical instrument out of K’Nex – and with it, play music at the culmination of the course!
Furthering the mission of SLAMS, the Promise Neighborhood and Drexel partnerships seek to inspire, discover, and connect education and communities through project-based learning opportunities and real-life experiences. Furthering the mission of the grant, the partnership creates a lasting impact on the students by fostering creativity and a sense of community.