Project Exploration


Project Exploration (PE) creates transformative learning experiences, pathways, and a community for youth underrepresented in STEM, especially low-income students, students of color, and young women, allowing them to explore STEM careers and equip them with the necessary skills and practices, and mindset needed for lifelong learning.

PE achieves this mission by providing Youth-Science Pathway (YSP) programs. across 3 program models:

  • STEM Learning Centers – community-based STEM hubs, which amplify the value of STEM learning in the community through family programming and the funneling of citywide STEM resources and programs to the local community.
  • School-Based – daytime and out-of-school time programs provided at partnering school locations, especially Chicago Public School partner locations who may not otherwise benefit from high-quality STEM programs
  • STEM@home – provide students who. do not live near a STEM Learning Center or school-based program the opportunity to engage in fun, hands-on STEM activities through mailed STEM kits and Zoom virtual classrooms. 

Across all models, YSP programs are structured around four phases of scientific inquiry: Launch, Discover, Explore, and Pursue, Youth-Science Pathways is a set of fluid, non-linear programs that reflect students’ emerging skills, curiosity, and ambition The programs encourage them to take ownership of their learning, become active members of the STEM community, and invest in a lifelong practice of inquiry. 

Direct-Service Provider


Organization Type

Community-Based Organization

Age Groups Served

Young Adult (18-24)

Service Areas:

  • Auburn Gresham
  • Austin
  • Back of the Yards
  • Belmont Cragin
  • Bronzeville
  • Douglas
  • East Garfield Park
  • Gage Park
  • Kenwood
  • Lower West Side
  • Near West Side
  • North Lawndale
  • West Garfield Park