Elevating the voices of students in STEM
CSOs are students in grades 6-12 elected by their peers to be liaisons for STEM in their schools and communities. They learn leadership skills to implement on-campus projects and advocate for student voice in STEM.
With CSOs, you can…
- Create a pipeline of diverse STEM leaders
- Increase communication and collaboration among CSOs
- Enrich school STEM culture and career awareness
- Increase student voice in STEM conversations in the community
Every CSO gets to experience…
- Leadership Training Institute teaches networking, leadership development, verbal and written communication, and team building.
- Cabinet Meetings and Community Events guide collaboration with business and civic leaders to address community challenges, improve communication and confidence, and share common experiences.
- Mentorship training opportunities with STEM professionals – vetted regional leaders who help CSOs implement their ideas on campus and express their voice in the community.
International CSO Program Expands in Texas
IDRA and the Alamo STEM Ecosystem launched the Chief Science Officers program in San Antonio in 2019, and it’s expanding across Texas. The program empowers middle and high school students to enrich school STEM culture and career awareness by bringing STEM/STEAM*-related opportunities to their schools and local communities.
The Arizona-based SciTech Institute initiated the CSO program in 2015. The Alamo STEM Ecosystem (a member of the International STEM Learning Ecosystem) brought it to San Antonio in 2018. The program now exists in countries from Kuwait to Mexico. IDRA manages the Texas expansion of the program.IDRA manages the Texas expansion of the program, particularly into historically under-resourced schools and to serve low-income students, students of color and girls.
Following a pilot period during the 2018-19 school year, more than 100 Chief Science Officers for 2019-20 have been selected or elected by their peers to serve as liaisons for STEM in their schools and in their communities.
In new San Antonio science and tech program, students call the shots, Alia Malik, San Antonio Express-News, October 17, 2019.
On June 18, 2019, IDRA held a public launch event at the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology (SAMSAT). See IDRA Launches Chief Science Officer ™ Program in Texas.
Articles by CSO students:
- Building a STEM Identity through the Chief Science Officer Program, by Lexis Ratto & Kelly O’Kane, IDRA Newsletter, August 2019, by San Antonio’s first CSOs
- CSO Experience, by Texas CSO Owen. CSO Blog, September 30, 2019
- CSO Myah in Texas!, by Texas CSO Myah. CSO Blog, September 27, 2019
Hear our Classnotes Podcast episode: Student Voice – Chief Science Officer International Program – Podcast Episode 193.
The Leadership Training Institute for Chief Science Officers in San Antonio took place September 26-27, 2019.
About the Program
The realization that kids need a voice in STEM sparked a powerful idea to put students at the center of STEM advocacy, student experience, and community action. CSOs in Texas form a statewide “cabinet” to connect with peers across the state, nation and globe.
- Participate in the annual CSO Leadership Training Institute
- Attend at least two CSO cabinet meetings
- Complete a STEM action plan for their school or community
- Regularly connect online with the international community of CSOs
- Serve as the STEM ambassador for their school and community
- Interact with some of STEM mentors