Expanding science outreach
Sci-Inspire is a social network for science outreach piloting in New York and Washington, D.C. that connects K-12 educators with university science college students to boost science attitudes and aptitudes in American youth
Sci-Inspire was founded in September 2015 and since then has launched two pilots: one at Columbia University connecting Fu School of Engineering and Applied Science students with educators at Harlem K-12 schools, and another in Washington, DC, connecting George Washington University students with K-12 teachers in both the District and nearby Maryland.
We’re connecting people with a need with people who can help. It's really great!
Jeremy Heyman - Science Teacher, Ellis Preparatory Academy
SI Video 2
Connecting K-12 students
with STEM mentors
Sci-Inspire aims to boost science attitudes and aptitudes in American youth by engaging college science students across the country to directly serve as near-peer role models in K-12 environments. Mobilizing a community, training volunteers, and connecting them with K-12 educators, Sci-Inspire™ will leverage scalable Web 3.0 tools to finally make it easy to create, access, and navigate science outreach opportunities.
With these methods, Sci-Inspire hopes to cultivate organic, regenerating partnerships between K-12 schools and institutions of higher education that complement existing partnerships, bringing us closer to the full potential of science outreach.
Our Team with Big Ideas
President, Lead Developer
Having volunteered for years as part of Pitt Science Outreach while in college, Matt Schaff graduated in 2013 and left for DC to teach himself web development and build the Sci-Inspire social network. ln 2015, Matt founded and incorporated Sci-Inspire. Currently a Ph.D. student in neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania and the Lead Developer of Science News for Students at the Society for Science and the Public, Matt won the Barry Goldwater Scholarship in 2012 for his research into the neurobiology of nicotine and in 2013 graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with degrees in Neuroscience and Economics.
Emily Ford has led development of the New York City bases of educators and volunteers for Sci-Inspire, helping to create a Sci-Inspire student organization at Columbia, coordinating educational services, and providing crucial perspective on business strategy. To Sci-Inspire, Emily brings over 15 years of experience developing, managing, and evaluating youth programs in urban and international education. Emily currently works as the Director of Outreach Programs at Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. She has an MBA from Columbia Business School, an MEd from Teachers College, an MA from Humboldt University of Berlin, and a BA from Columbia University.
Having established the GW Sci-Inspire pilot program at the George Washington University in 2016, Sam Johnson leads corporate expansion and business development by expanding pilot team outreach, recruiting and pulling in outside resources, and leveraging connections among the Board of Directors. Sam graduated GW in the Spring of 2016 with a BS in Biological Anthropology, after spending the bulk of his undergraduate studies involved in scientific research. Sam continues his research at the GW hard tissue research lab, where he is revealing both a more organic and automated way to evaluate how stress is distributed across bone tissue throughout primate development and at GW Hosptial, where he is a clinical research assistant.