OMSI and KairosPDX are working together to bring STEM education to underserved youth at school, at the museum, and beyond.
According to a 2021 study from Pew Research Center, Black and Latinx people remain underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce. OMSI teamed up with KairosPDX Learning Academy to help change that.
KairosPDX is a non-profit organization focused on delivering excellent, equitable education to underserved children, their families, and their communities. Their approach to dismantling structural racism includes policy advocacy, professional development services, and hands-on learning through their flagship community school and family engagement programs.
Now, thanks to a generous grant from the Lora and Martin Kelley Family Foundation, OMSI and KairosPDX have a shared staff member who is helping bring our missions together. This staff member, called the STEM Coordinator, brings the best of OMSI to KairosPDX by teaching science to their community school students four days a week. This means access to our full suite of outreach tools and activities — from chemistry sets to robotics kits. The STEM Coordinator also helps our team grow in our cultural competency so we can bring high-quality, relevant science education to diverse audiences and create a more inclusive, equitable OMSI.
Through our partnership, KairosPDX and OMSI have delivered curriculum around key topics like physical science, gardening, and nutrition to hundreds of students over the last three years. We even collaborated on KairosPDX’s first-ever outdoor school experience.
Linking KairosPDX directly to OMSI through a shared staff member is an exceptional opportunity to learn from and support one another, and we see transformative possibilities in this partnership. Our ambition is to inspire children of color at KairosPDX, at the museum, and across our community to fall in love with science.