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#STEMSpotlight: Saturday Academy

Saturday Academy

What’s the name of your organization?
Saturday Academy

What’s your title?
Emily Whitacre, Communications and Development Coordinator

In which city (or cities) is your organization located?
Portland, OR

What are the ages and demographics of youth you work with?
We provide programming for students in grades 2-12. 52% of our students identify as male and 46% identify as female. 60% of the students we serve are underrepresented minority students and 50% are on low and reduced lunch

Describe your organization and its mission.
Saturday Academy is a Portland-based non-profit that provides wide access to hands-on learning for diverse students in grades 2-12 in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and the Arts (STEAM). It is Saturday Academy’s mission to develop creative, confident, and curious critical thinkers by engaging students in socially conscious and equitable STEAM experiences. We spark curiosity, connect our community, and empower students to become the innovative thinkers and problem-solvers of the next generation.

What are the short and long-term goals for your organization?
The short term goals of the organization are to inspire the best and the brightest students from all socioeconomic backgrounds and demographics to fall in love with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math by providing them with equal access to innovative, expert-taught STEM after school classes and summer camps, and apprenticeships at the top STEM companies in Oregon and SW Washington.

Our long-term goals are to serve as a catalyst for change in the STEM industry, by providing a pathway for underserved and underrepresented minority students as well as girls to enter the STEM fields with experience, exposure, and connections within the industry. We would like to level the playing field, by providing equal access to innovative STEM programming for students that face financial barriers and lack of confidence in their abilities.

How can TAO and community members support your work?

  • Host an ASE (Apprenticeships in Science and Engineering) intern at your
    company: We need more companies willing to give internship opportunities to
    aspiring young STEM professionals in grades 9th to 11th. Click this link to learn
    more about the commitment required and the impact you can make in a young
    student’s life: Become a Mentor for ASE
  • Be an instructor: We are always looking for instructors who are passionate about
    teaching and have expertise in their field of STEM. Here is more information
    on how to be an instructor: Become at Saturday Academy Instructor
  • Donate to support our work: Donate to Saturday Academy Here!
  • Attend our 1st Annual Ping Pong Tournament on Wednesday, Dec. 15th from 6-9 pm at
    Pips and Bounce. Register here: Battle of the Paddles Fundraiser
  • Sponsor our Discovery Event at OMSI on Thursday, April 7th, 2022- email Melissa Erickson for more information- melissa@saturdayacademy.org

This blog post is part of an awareness campaign about organizations working to advance STEM education opportunities for Oregon youth. A big thank you to Oregon Community Foundation for supporting STEM education!

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