“When I see children who are curious and hungry to learn,” founder Rosa Aristy says, “I want to feed them.”
It’s that drive to feed students’ enthusiasm that gave the Houston-area nonprofit Bridges to Science its start. When Aristy, a data scientist who homeschools her own children, heard that students in her homeschool co-op were requesting courses in programming and robotics, she noticed the glaring access gap that certain communities face when pursuing STEM courses. Most adults in the group did not feel competent enough with the topics to lead the course work, and not all students had the tools needed to pursue them. To fill that void, she began the Katy Math Circle.
It quickly became evident that the community’s needs for accessible STEM programs were growing beyond the scope of that once-a-week math circle. Bridges to Science was launched to provide year-round programming in math, coding, and robotics to more communities of underserved students in all educational arrangements.
It maintains that founding principle of feeding students’ curiosity, interests, and love of learning by grounding all programming in hands-on, project-based curricula and providing strong role models for students that might not otherwise see a future in STEM for themselves.
Having expanded its course offerings to include programming and workshops in local schools and like-minded organizations, B2S is touching the lives of hundreds of students in the area. This year, their goal is to reach more than 200 new students!
And that impact goes beyond just education. The course work, which is inquiry-based and project-oriented, cultivates curiosity, confidence, and community in its members. Parents notice the difference in their students — these anonymous testimonials speak for themselves:
- “My kids are getting so much more from this club than coding skills. Today, my child walked away with a smile and a boost of confidence!”
- “My son is an introvert, but he worked beautifully with his peers on their project work.”
- “Robotics and coding empowered my son to be more than just a digital consumer of technology and instead, he was inspired to produce it.”
It’s amazing to see the way Aristy and her team continues to address that hunger for STEM education she saw years ago. With Bridges to Science, they’re nurturing bodies, hearts, AND minds.