OP-ED: Project START

5 mins read

Project START is a nonprofit organization that exists at multiple undergraduate and graduate schools. Our initiative is to spark a science interest in fourth grade students through fun and interactive science experiments. Our program currently runs at one school, and it is working phenomenally. We taught four classes this past fall semester and are completing the rest of the grade in the spring semester. The fourth graders love our experiments and are eagerly expressing interest in most of the experiments we conduct. Furthermore, the faculty members enjoy our time there for two reasons: it gives them a chance to take a break in their busy work day and they get to see their students become excited and express interest in science. Lastly, the college students enjoy the program because it feeds their passion to teach and work with younger students.

There are many advantages to joining Project START. Our club accepts students that have different majors and career goals which gives the college students an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends, along with learning about their respective fields. In addition, the fourth graders also benefit because they receive a wider perspective on school. We try our best to accommodate the college students’ schedules by having them come in for short, spaced out time blocks. Since the students only have to go to the class approximately every other week for an hour, the club does not consume so much of their precious time.

Lastly, members do not have to pay a fee to be in the club. We use our funding from Queens College Student Life so that we do not have to charge students to be a member.

As a result of these benefits, Project START will be one of the best clubs on campus, and will have the greatest impact on the Queens community.

One of our members, Jashandeep Kaur, says that the Project START experience is a rewarding adventure.

”The moment I heard about Project START, I immediately joined the team. It was a great way to add some experience to my resume, as well as to improve my leadership and communication skills,” Kaur said.

“It is an enriching experience when teaching the elementary fourth-grade students different aspects of STEM. We come to teach the children and with that, we have lots of fun. Not only do the elementary students learn the world of STEM, but also college students learn to put their skills to use when teaching.”

Project START member, Benjamin Musheyev, shared a similar sentiment.
”When I first joined ProjectSTART, I thought it would be an interesting resume building opportunity that I could take part in during my free time. Given that the public school is a 15 minute walk from Queens College with a convenient-once every other week-commitment, I was happy to dedicate my time to take part in STEM projects with an elementary school class,” Musheyev said.

“ProjectSTART is a unique experience in how it provides college students the opportunity to interact with young minds in a fun and exciting way. Additionally, it provides college students the ability to utilize their skills to contribute to the projects and make them even more fun. Overall ProjectSTART has proven to be an incredible learning experience in which I not only learned about science, but also developed my communication skills, learned to  be patient while interacting with the students, and expanded my perspective on the possibility of teaching in the future,” Musheyev said.

If you are interested in learning or joining Project START, you can Facebook message us through our Facebook page, Queenscollegeprojectstart, or email us at qcstart@gmail.com.

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