Northwestern establishes partnership with CPS high school

Jake Holland, Assistant Campus Editor

Northwestern will establish a partnership with Lake View High School, which is within the Chicago Public Schools system, to bolster the school’s STEM program, the University announced Friday.

University spokesman Al Cubbage said Northwestern faculty will be working with the University’s Science in Society group — a research center dedicated to science education and public engagement — as well as graduate students on the initiative.

Lake View currently has an interim principal but is scheduled to vote in a couple weeks for a permanent principal, said neurobiology and physiology Prof. Michael Kennedy, director of Science in Society. He added that Science in Society is waiting for this leadership decision to be made before going forward with any specific programming.

They will collaborate with Lake View’s principal to determine exact logistics in improving the school’s STEM program once the partnership is solidified within the next few weeks, Cubbage said.

Lake View is an Early College STEM School, meaning it gives students the opportunity to earn both a high school diploma and college credits. The high school currently has a partnership with Microsoft, which provides financial support for students to pursue summer internships.

The partnership will include programming to support postsecondary planning and preparation, teacher development and student teaching experiences for Northwestern graduate students, according to the news release.

Northwestern’s partnership with Lake View joins a list of other partnerships sponsored by the University and Science in Society, including a collaboration with Evanston Township High School. Science in Society is also currently working with Stephen Tyng Mather High School, another CPS high school, to provide a STEM mentoring program for ninth-grade students.

Cubbage said the University chose to partner with Lake View for a variety of reasons, including that Lake View doesn’t receive the funding needed to fuel its strong STEM program, he said.

He added that a large number of faculty live around the Lakeview neighborhood, making the partnership a “natural connection.”

Kennedy said because the partnership is so new, specific plans are still being developed. Science and Society’s goal is dedicated to forming community groups and partnerships with local schools and addressing STEM needs in education, Kennedy said. By training Northwestern students to help support these needs, the group can foster community partnerships, he said.

Kennedy said Science in Society takes into account the individual needs and desires of partner schools or community groups before solidifying any program plans or initiatives.

“Our process of partnering with a school or community group starts with listening,” he said. “We need to have an opportunity to meet the leadership, the teachers and support staff, and hear their concerns and identify the areas of greatest need in their STEM programs.”

Kennedy added that communication between both the University and Lake View is key to maximizing the initiative’s benefits.

“The more of a chance we have to get to know the students and teachers and work collaboratively, that’s what leads to long-term success,” Kennedy said.

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