Project LEAD Mission Statement:

In the face of a difficult economy there seems to be one solid solution that can help end the slipping of the economy, and help people actualize dreams. While jobs are hard to come by there is a surplus of jobs in the Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. In the current education system most students get a pretty fair shot at the education that they need to become a STEM  major in college. The problem arises when looking at STEM graduation rates which are on the decline. 

Looking at a typical english class, students from a young age will have the opprotunity to write papers, and to explore the subject. They may read on their own about a certain topic they may enjoy. In social studies class students would get to research a historical figure of their choosing. Exploring a topic of their own choosing. Art classes allow student to show their creativity in the most raw form. But what happens when biology comes around during 6th period?

Science, and math courses are known for being very boring. In an article written by a professor of computer science, he cites the lack of mobility as the number one reason kids hate school. This lack of mobility he says is more present in science and math classes than in any other. Kids are not allowed to explore much in the way of biology, and forget math. Chemistry may be the best off, but what more exploring is allowed than a project about the periodic table?

Project LEAD Goals:

At Project LEAD we have set out to fulfill goals that will enhance the education of youth.
A list of specific goals is below:

  1. Further engineering education among young people
  2. Show the fun side of STEM
  3. Provide information on fun projects
  4. Create a community

Sharing Goals:

Project LEAD's goals are very similar to other programs, and many themes within the program are lateral themes throughout the STEM and Education fields. Below are some examples where Project LEAD's goals tie into a broader network.

This is an exerpt from Linking Evidence and Promising Practices in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Undergraduate Education A Status Report for The National Academies National Research Council Board of Science Education

STEM Educational Reform: Solutions in Search of a Problem

Drawing on the work by Seymour and Hewitt (1997), much of the research agenda sponsored by the NAS and NSF focuses on reforming STEM instruction in the college classroom. Yet improved classroom instruction addresses only part of the laundry list of problems in STEM education.

· Increasing public awareness about STEM: Attaining this goalrequires expanding the role of STEM faculty to include outreach beyond the university. Achieving this goal may require STEM faculty to change the way they relate to nonscientists outside the university; it does not require changing instructional practices in the college classroom.

· Increasing the STEM pipeline: The STEM pipeline runs from K-12 through can doctoral programs and professional practice. Increasing the interest of K-12 students in the sciences rests on university outreach efforts and improved K-12 instruction, not on college teaching. In contrast, attracting students to STEM majors and keeping them in the major can be affected by the classroom experience (MacDonald & Korinek, 1995).

IIT Boeing Scholars:

The members of Project LEAD are all IIT Boeing Scholars. During the summer session of the Academy scholars are tasked with creating a Leadership Grant Project (LGP). Project LEAD is one of these projects. We all expressed interest in working together. After going through what seemed like dozens of projects, goals, and ideas, we settled on Project LEAD. We found that this mission stood above the rest as something that was both important to us, and to the community. The academy's blog can be found here.

The Project LEAD Team:

John M

Online Presence / Project Organizer

Daniel J

Activity Designer / Coordinator