If interested in this program please contact Charles whose email is listed below.

Museum of Science & Industry -Teen Home Schoolers Program

Please forward the info below to any group that might be able to reach teens.

Hello Teen Home Schoolers and Parents,

My name is Natalie Pond and my son Addison (15) has been a “Science Minor”
for the last year or so at the Museum of Science and Industry. It is an
internship of sorts, and he spends 3 hours or so each Saturday morning at
the museum, along with other kids, most of whom live in downtown Chicago.
He had to apply for the program, answering essay questions about his science
interests and then he had to interview at the museum.

The coordinator of this program has asked me to forward his letter (below
mine) to you, as he hopes to open up this program to home schoolers, with a
special section of it meeting on a weekday each week. I am happy to do
this, as this has been an incredible experience for Addison. And while I
have been so happy that he has been able to interact with city kids and
experience the ethnic diversity, Saturday mornings are not good for our
schedule, and I’d much rather there be a weekday session.

If there is enough interest for the museum to open a weekday home schoolers
session, perhaps we could carpool or send our home schooled teens in
together on the metra. Also, whenever I have driven Addison to the museum
for his sessions, his sisters and I get into the museum free, and we park
for free, so some of you might prefer to drive in each time and do that with
your younger children. This museum is so incredible! We’ve been going to it
for 3 years now and never seem to tire of it.

I can’t say enough about how wonderful this program has been for Addison.
He was trained to run the Star Lab (a mini planetarium of sorts), and is
able now to do presentations in it for the public.

He has become very familiar with all the areas of the museum and has learned
to answer questions the public might ask him when he is walking the museum
and has his badge on.

He spent several of his sessions on dissection, and eventually did a
dissection on a frog in front of a group of school children visiting the
museum, including answering any questions they had for him.

Sometimes the educators lead the teens in a debate on a science or
teen-related topic. Sometimes there are off-site activities, like
volunteering at a book fair in Chicago.

The older teens with more volunteer hours (all the hours the teen spends in
this program count as volunteer/community service hours) can assist in
science classes given at the museum for younger children.

A few weeks ago, Addison participated with other teens in this program in a
“Career Bytes” project where they interviewed (at Adler Planetarium) an
astronaut and several other science professionals, filmed the interviews,
and are now editing them for posting on the internet for career education

The teens get access to certain areas of the museum that the general public
does not. They are also often given the opportunity to give teen input to
future exhibits and also to help with their set up.

All in all, the teens get a lot of public speaking practice, education and
enrichment in many varied science topics, become “experts” on the museum
itself, and accumulate “official” volunteer hours. As they work their way
up to a certain number of hours, and turn 16, they can apply to work part
time at the museum for pay.

If this interests you or your teen, please read the letter below that Mr.
Brass wrote, and contact him if you are interested. If he receives enough
interest, he will then go about setting a starting date and choosing the day
of the week and time the program will meet.

Mr. Brass said it will not cost anything after a $50.00 registration fee. I
believe this means that even if your child remains in the program for years,
you only pay that initial $50.00 sign-up fee.

Please read the letter below, which probably articulates much better and
more succinctly than I did, what this program is about. There is an email
address at the bottom, for Mr. Brass. Please contact him directly with
questions or to voice interest.


To the Home School Community:

My name is Charles Brass and I am the coordinator of the Science Minors
program, which is a teen science enrichment program offered through the
Museum of Science and Industry. This evolving and innovative science
program is designed to enrich students (ages 14-17) in the various
disciplines of science. In an effort to reach out to the home-schooled
community, our program is considering offering a weekday course exclusively
for home-schooled students. This letter of interest seeks to gauge the
viability of the home school network as a collaborative partner in this
“Science Minors Home Schooled Program..” Each ten-week course will meet
one day a week (Tuesday – Friday) for three hours. Course cycles (fall,
winter and spring) will focus on selected topics in both the life and
physical sciences. Incentives for program participants include free museum
admission (including other museums), free parking at our museum, and a 20%
discount on purchases made in our food court and store.

As the world’s largest science museum in the western hemisphere, our
our vision calls us to inspire and motivate all students to achieve their
full potentials in science, technology, engineering and medicine.

To express your interest in this grand opportunity, send your e-mail
response to: charles.brass@msichicago.org Please include the age of each
applicant. We look forward to hearing from you and working together to
close the widening science gap U.S. students face as they lag behind other
industrialized nations.

Charles O. Brass

Education Coordinator, Science Minors Program

Museum OF Science AND Industry

57th Street and Lake Shore Drive

Chicago, IL 60637-2093

Direct Line: (773) 947-4160

Fax: (773) 684-1591

E-Mail: charles.brass@msichicago.org

Web Address: www.msichicago.


One Response to “Science and Industry reaches out to teens”

  1. on 31 Dec 2008 at 12:10 am Lisa J. DeJesus


    Yes! My soon to be 14 year old would definitely be interested in this program. Please send me any information you have on this program and please let me know if you have anything similar for younger children. Any day of the week would be great for us. We would still be interested in attending on weekends but weekdays are definitely easier. Thank you!!

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