100%

funded

Total loan: $10,000

Edward & Amy

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Chicago, IL, United States / Education

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A loan helped purchase lab equipment and supplies to expand our math and science programming and fund additional instructors to increase course offerings.


Edward & Amy's story

After receiving my doctorate in Molecular Neuroscience from Northwestern University, I recognized a lack of diversity in the sciences and left the university to have a greater impact on my community. I taught high school science at a low-performing/high-poverty urban high school in Chicago Public Schools. I quickly realized that my credentials, and using traditional hands-on experiments, were not enough to get all students engaged in a subject rooted in testing and rote memorization. I met co-founder Amy Schwartzbach, a Reading Teacher, when we were teaching at the same school. Growing up, Amy always imagined a world where math and science were as beloved as stories. Even though she was raised in a family of science professors and mathematicians who offered continual STEM learning opportunities, she often struggled with science and math in school. Amy loved reading and being creative, but she was always told that math and science and creativity did not mix. As teachers, we worked together to create a series of projects—pulling engaging science lessons from classic literature—letting students experience the creativity and wonderment existing in math and science. When we saw this worked, we invested our life savings into an incubator, The Laboratory Collective, to see what happens when we could teach kids how we knew they should be taught. It has been resonating with students, families, and their schools. Students who told us they hated school, loved coming to our space. As one student said “I don’t need to choose between being creative and doing science”. Our dreams for the future include every child having access to this type of STEM/STEAM learning. We hope to expand into more locations and help more schools and teachers realize how they can bring this type of learning to their students.