Scientists, Engineers, and Mathematicians for Service
Who we are:
SEMFS is an organization established to create a sense of excitement and enthusiasm about sharing knowledge and inspiring the youth in the Pittsburgh community. We try to re-engage the students, especially those who seem to have lost interest in learning because they either have a hard time in school or the classroom just isn't the best environment for them. We bring them onto Pitt's campus to show them that they can have fun doing experiments and projects that educate them in STEM. In particular, SEMFS encourages an interest in and spreads awareness of the opportunities associated with a career or a post-secondary education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
SEMFS works with several local elementary and middle school education programs, including Gwen’s Girls and Investing Now, which are designed to empower local youths through educational programs. Each year we host about 10 workshops where we try to engage the students through science, math, or engineering projects or experiments. We have made dozens of projects over the past 6 years and plan new projects for the students every year. For example, we have constructed different bridge models with gumdrops and toothpicks and then measured their strength in amount of pennies each bridge could hold. This fall, we performed DNA extraction on fruit to show the kids how DNA can be found in any organic life and that it can be separated and observed. The kids smashed up the fruit in bags which we then added alcohol, dish soap, and salt to in order to separate the DNA for the kids to observe under a microscope. The student groups we work with have been very pleased with our program. In fact, we always have more requests for workshops than we are able to provide in a given year.
How to help:
On March 15, we plan to hold a “SEMFS Science Day,” a larger version of our regular workshop that will involve a greater number of students and a new set of experiments. “SEMFS Science Day” will be planned without assistance from partner organizations, and SEMFS needs your help to purchase more advanced scientific and engineering equipment, and each club members’ child supervision clearances.
Feel free to browse our giving levels, which give examples of the impact your gift will have:
- $15- When life gives you lemons...make clocks out of them! This donation will buy two lemon-clock kits so we can show kids how electrolysis works.
- $25- It would be nICE to show kids how frozen CO2 reacts with water and air. This donation will buy a block of dry ice so we can do fun experiments like bubble potions, singing spoons, and balloon inflation
- $40- The law is the law. Every club member needs a clearance to work with children. This donation allows one club member to help out at events for the entire school year.
- $100- Don't resist! We always want to teach kids watt makes up our current technology. This donation will purchase one Arduino Circuit Kit so that we can spark more kids' interests in electrical engineering.
- $150- It's a water-powered car! This donation will buy a hybrid fuel-cell RC toy car so we can teach kids how hydrogen atoms in water can be burned as fuel if they are separated from oxygen...the future of alternative energy!
Help inspire future scientists, engineers, and mathematicians by donating today!