Tam High-Martin Luther King (MLK) Science Outreach, founded by senior Lauren Killingsworth, received a $1,000 grant this summer to continue bringing science labs and tutoring to students at MLK Middle School. The money will go toward the purchase of science supplies and safety equipment.
The grant is from the ABC Summer Service Awards, funded by ABC News and Disney. “The [award] goes to students who have started unique projects in their community. That grant goes to making that project even better,” Killingsworth said.
Killingsworth started tutoring at MLK as part of the Honor T club. As she helped a student with his science homework on acid base pH, she realized that he had never actually used pH paper himself. “He had never had the chance to take pH paper, dip it in a solution, and see the color change,” Killingsworth said. “There is no substitute to doing experiments in science.”
Killingsworth aims to bring fun, hands-on experiments to MLK students. Science Outreach is a tutoring program. “We tutor students mainly in math and science, along with their other classes,” Killingsworth said. “Usually one [Tam] student works with an MLK student for a minimum of two months but most finish the year.”
MLK students will participate in an independent science fair research project this year. “We are going to need to recruit as many [Tam students] as possible who are interested in science, who want to be science fair research guides for these kids,” she said. The project gives students hands-on experience Killingsworth believes is necessary to foster a passion for science. Tam students will guide MLK students through the process until the science fair in March.
There is a concern about the future of the program because many of the volunteers are seniors Honor T club adviser and social studies teacher Laura Garrett has expressed interest in maintaining the program.
As of now, the plan is to continue next year. “All the people who are juniors this year helped a lot last year and can maintain the program when I leave. I will have time to train someone to replace me,” Killingsworth said.