WITH A VISION OF MAKING
SCIENCE ACCESSIBLE to the public, paleontologist Paul Sereno and educator Gabrielle Lyon established Project Exploration in Chicago seven years ago. According to Executive Director Gabrielle Lyon, “We want to personalize science and make it possible for everybody to make a discovery.”
Project Exploration works in three areas to achieve its vision: youth initiatives that foster long-term relationships with minority youth and girls, services for schools and teachers, and public programs, including traveling dinosaur exhibits and a Web site that provides an online window onto science in action. Subaru of America Foundation provides funding to help with the youth programs.
Young people from Chicago ages 12 through 17 participate in Project Exploration’s three core student programs: Sisters4Science – an after-school program for girls that provides leadership development and science explorations; Junior Paleontologist Program – student immersion in research and field work alongside paleontologists in dinosaur badlands in Montana and Wyoming; a service learning program – students study to become docents and lead tour groups through exhibits in local science museums. Project Exploration supports relationships with students through high school and into college.
Project Exploration’s students have participated in fieldwork in the American West as well as the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. This past autumn, a Project Exploration alumna participated in a paleoarchaeology expedition to the Sahara Desert and helped excavate an 8,000-year-old human cemetery.
After seven years, the organization is gratified by the success enjoyed by students involved in Project Exploration. They are more likely to graduate from high school, more likely to go to college and more likely to pursue science than their peers at a national level.
Learn more about Project Exploration and join its mailing list at www.projectexploration.org.