Iridescent Recognized for Excellence in Volunteering Experience at US2020 STEM Mentoring Awards

US2020 Excellence in Mentorship Awards

July 23, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This morning, US2020 announced the winners of the 2015 STEM Mentoring Awards– a competition launched earlier this year at the White House Science Fair. This afternoon at the White House complex, US2020 and Co-Founding Sponsors Chevron and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), will recognize the winners for their exceptional work in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) mentoring.

The 2015 STEM Mentoring Awards winners will be recognized today in conjunction with the first US2020 STEM Mentoring Symposium sponsored by US2020 Founding Co-Investor, SanDisk. The Symposium will bring together leaders from the public, private, and social sectors to discuss common challenges, share best practices, and reaffirm STEM Mentoring as a powerful tool for education reform.

Iridescent is a 2015 Excellence in Volunteer Experience winner.

Iridescent works with volunteer scientists and engineers to develop science and engineering curriculum used to teach and mentor children and their families both in person and through Curiosity Machine, an online learning platform. Iridescent recruits volunteers from engineering companies, universities and science research labs and provides a skill-based opportunity for these volunteers, where they can not only serve and connect with their communities, but also learn important leadership and communication skills that will be of professional benefit.

Volunteers learn how to develop open-ended engineering design challenges based on the problems they solve on a daily basis, and to do using only simple materials. Volunteers learn how to help children do these design challenges and to develop a growth mindset and higher order cognitive traits of curiosity, creativity, and persistence as they build.

Iridescent has recruited volunteers from Boeing, USC, Cummins, Qualcomm, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, Cooper Union and NYSci and is focusing on retaining these volunteers as STEM mentors for Curiosity Machine, where they will be able to support more children over longer periods of time.

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About Iridescent

Iridescent is a STEM education nonprofit with the mission to equip and inspire underserved youth to develop curiosity, creativity and persistence through a powerful science, engineering and technology education. Drawing on best practices from nearly ten years of experience, Iridescent’s approach has three critical components:

  • Multi-year access to STEM experts: Thousands of volunteer STEM professionals, trained by Iridescent, develop and teach unique hands-on projects and provide multi-year online mentorship to deepen conceptual knowledge.
  • Strong Parental Involvement: Parents learn alongside their children to acquire knowledge and skills to support their children’s development of higher-order cognitive traits of curiosity, creativity and persistence.
  • Technology Platform for Scale and Depth: Iridescent trains parents and educators to use its online curriculum and mentoring platform www.CuriosityMachine.org to provide rich, long-term support to these families over several years as their children grow and learn. (Demo video.)

About US2020

US2020, a division of Citizen Schools, developed from a White House call to generate large-scale, innovative solutions to our STEM education challenges. Its mission is to dramatically scale the number of STEM professionals mentoring and teaching students through hands-on projects with a focus on serving underrepresented communities — girls, underrepresented minorities, and low-income children. US2020 is supported by national Co-Investors: Alcoa, CA Technologies, Chevron, Cisco, Cognizant, Discovery Communications,

Raytheon, SanDisk, Tata Consultancy Services, and Texas Instruments, as well as the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Through partnerships at the national level and coalitions at the city level, US2020 has built a network of more than 250 organizations in 13 cities actively working to scale the STEM mentoring field, to align the field on common metrics, and to advance a focus on quality. To learn more, visit http://www.us2020.org.

Media Contact:
Maggie Jaris
Dissemination Coordinator, Iridescent
maggie@iridescentlearning.org