GSK Science in the Summer™, a free summer STEM program that aims to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers by providing opportunities for children to explore science careers, think scientifically, and practice real science techniques, returns this summer with a new theme: Be an Engineer!
Traditionally held at local libraries and community-based organizations, the program is adapting this year to offer both in-person instruction and at-home family exploration with virtual live events led by Franklin Institute educators. This hybrid model ensures that GSK Science in the Summer™ can continue to offer high-quality, interactive STEM learning for its 35th year to even more students entering second through sixth grade at a critical time in their educational journey and following the disruption of the 2020-21 academic year.
This all-new curriculum invites children to play the role of engineers and tackle electrical, biomedical, environmental, and structural engineering challenges through experiments, videos, and live virtual events. Students will explore the engineering design process as they find solutions to real-world problems, from managing a playground's stormwater runoff to designing a sturdy lightweight pedestrian bridge.
Families across the five-county Greater Philadelphia area selected by lottery will receive a science kit with materials to perform two hands-on engineering experiments at home. Through accompanying online videos, educators from The Franklin Institute will guide students through the setup of their at-home lab space and share more about the engineering project they will be exploring as they take on the role of an engineer. After conducting their experiments at home, students and families can reflect on their experiences through live virtual programs with Franklin Institute educators and other program participants. They will also have the opportunity to interact with guest engineers in special editions of Engineering for Good, a Franklin Institute Facebook Live series led by Senior Vice President of Science and Education and Chemical Engineer Dr. Darryl Williams.
Interested families in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties can enter the lottery to win a kit of science materials from May 3 through May 21, 2021, at scienceinthesummer.fi.edu/phila. Families not selected in the lottery can still experience the complete virtual program using simple science materials from home. All activity guides, a materials list, lab notebooks, and videos are available on the website at no cost.
Provided by GSK in partnership with The Franklin Institute, this fun, 100% free STEM enrichment program helps prevent the summer slide and works to keep students engaged with learning through fun, hands-on activities that will help ignite a lifelong passion for science.
"Scientists are finding solutions to problems today we never thought we would face, so it's even more important now to foster students’ interest in science early so they can see themselves on that trajectory,” said Becki Lynch, Director, US Community Partnerships at GSK. "GSK Science in the Summer™ allows students to take on the role of scientists by identifying a problem, finding solutions, and testing the results. That is what science is all about: solving seemingly unsolvable challenges."
GSK Science in the Summer™ began in Philadelphia as part of GSK's commitment to supporting STEM education. In 2021, the program celebrates its 35th anniversary and has reached over 325,000 children. Each year it continues to grow and improve to remain fresh, engaging, and relevant for children across the country. This summer, nearly 6,000 children in the Philadelphia area will join thousands more GSK Science in the Summer™ students nationwide as they learn the importance of engineering through fun, hands-on, age-appropriate experiments.