The Chief Science Officer 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 this international CSO program in 2015. The Alamo STEM Ecosystem (a member of the International STEM Learning Ecosystem) brought it to San Antonio in 2018.
Through 2021-22, IDRA managed the Texas expansion of the program, particularly into historically under-resourced schools and to serve low-income students, students of color and girls.
Typically, CSOs support STEM programming on campuses by helping to plan field trips, host science nights, start STEM-related clubs, initiate student-led civic action projects, and bring speakers from local industries to engage students in conversations about the STEM workforce.
In 2019-20, more than 100 Chief Science Officers participated in Texas schools in the following school districts: Edgewood ISD, Harlandale ISD, Houston ISD, Judson ISD, North East ISD, Northside ISD, San Antonio ISD, South San Antonio ISD and Southwest ISD.
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.
AT&T Foundation Supports Texas CSO Program
The AT&T Foundation provided a grant for the IDRA Texas CSO Program to support its continuation during the COVID-19 pandemic, stating “Through AT&T Aspire we are investing in students today – at home, in the classroom, at work – to prepare them for success tomorrow.” IDRA is grateful for AT&T’s support!
Google Fiber Supports Texas CSO Program
A generous donation from Google Fiber helped IDRA continue the program in 2021-22 with COVID-19 adjustments.
Dee Howard Foundation Provides Virtual Tours and Curriculum for IDRA Texas Chief Science Officer Students
Local students expanded their exploration of STEM careers by tapping San Antonio’s rich aviation and aerospace industry through resources provided by the Dee Howard Foundation in partnership with the IDRA Texas Chief Science Officer program. See announcement.