Women in Natural Sciences Programs | UL Innovative Education Award
Tier Two Winner

Women in Natural Sciences Programs

Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
Pennsylvania

Women in Natural Sciences (WINS) is an out of school time four-year program that provides mentoring for Philadelphia high school girls to help prepare them for, and help them down a path to, college and STEM/E-STEM careers.

One particular example of innovation through WINS is the Cultural Repercussions of Climate Change in Two Communities: A Teenage Viewpoint (CRCC) initiative. CRCC empowers students in Philadelphia and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to gain a greater appreciation of each others’ cultures, how these cultures are influenced by climate change, and how teenagers can play a vital role in educating their communities about climate change.

Judges Comment

"We appreciate how Academy of Natural Sciences (ANS) took the global perspective in defining environment as a pathway to STEM learning. We like that they recognize that people all over the world have so many of the same concerns about their environment and communities. ANS meaningfully demonstrated that a team of young people separated by many miles can truly work together on a shared goal of addressing and solving problems. What stood out to us was a striking trajectory of learning and life experience. ANS starts from a very local career-driven model where women of color have access to careers in science that they may not have had access to before. It then takes youth to a global level with real-world relationships where they are meeting other women actively interested in science from around the world. We were impressed that even though these young scientists have very unique environments and challenges where they live, the program builds an understanding that local ways of impacting community is driven by a common cause that links together the whole. This project also stood out for the long-term commitment to young women with a quality program to help them learn together throughout their teen years. ANS’s investment in helping them to develop their identity in the STEM field is important to us. This project was exemplary in its depth, recognizing that we can effect change at a deep level for a few that can help support the change makers for the future. This project is helping shape future leaders who will bring others along with them based on their new global perspective and sense of connection to others around the world."

Application