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Science & Math Investigative Learning Experiences

(The S.M.I.L.E. Program)

A pre-college science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) academic after-school program for underrepresented students in grades 4th-12th.

 

District-wide Family Science Nights are underway

In SMILE, each district plans a wonderful event called a Family Science Night (FSN).  These events bring together SMILE students, their families, and community members.  Students demonstrate and explain interactive science and math activities.  SMILE personnel inform parents and students about college admissions and student financial aid.  The FSN is a wonderful expression of interest and support by parents and community members.  Parents have the opportunity to get more involved in their children's education, and see them as competent learners.  The SMILE students' self-esteem soars!  The photo demonstrates a high school project -- Rain Garden in a Barrel!  So creative!

 

SMILE Winter Teachers' Workshop

December 5, 2013 - 40 SMILE teachers attended the winter workshop.  Elementary teachers will work with their students to prepare for the Elementary Outdoor Science Adventure.  They will be studying Biotic and Abiotic Factors that Create an Ecological Community.  Middle schoolers will study Bridges and Earthquakes to prepare for the Engineering Challenge in May.  High school students will study biotechnology to prepare for their Challenge event in March.

SMILE Director Presents at NSTA Conference in Portland, OR

October 24, 2013 - Congratulations to SMILE for being picked to present "A STEM Success Story" at the 2013 National Science Teachers Association Conference in Portland, OR!

SMILE Wins RIASPA's Lights On Afterschool Outstanding Youth Program!

October 16, 2013 - Congratulations to SMILE for winning the Rhode Island Afterschool Plus Alliance (RIASPA) Lights On Afterschool Outstanding Youth Program! We were nominated and selected because of our strong program and proven outcomes presenting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) academic after-school program for underrepresented students in grades 4th-12th. We received this prestigious award on October 16th at the RIASPA Breakfast of Champions at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet in Cranston, RI.

July Workshop!

July 17-18, 2013 - The unveiling of a new curriculum!  This year's exciting theme....Watershed ForestryThe focus is on the connections between students, their school, and town; they will make detailed observations on the impacts that their small area has on their immediate surroundings, wider community, watershed, and state. Students will investigate their school grounds and local watershed in the fall and early winter while preparing to develop and implement a Stewardship Project for the spring. The goal of this project will be to increase biodiversity and/or decrease stormwater runoff at your school or community site.

  

May SMILE Teachers' Workshop!

May 10, 2013 - Celebration of an amazing SMILE year!  The first part of the workshop involved recognition of the many accomplishments of SMILE clubs, teachers and students.  The second part was "The Science of Energy."  This was facilitated by Shannon Donovan, Scituate High School teacher and NEED facilitator, through the State of Rhode Island Office of Energy and the NEED (National Energy Education Development) Project.

Elementary Outdoor Science Adventure!

April 26-28, 2013 - SMILE 4th and 5th graders had a blast at this year's Elementary Outdoor Science Adventure at Alton Jones.  The URI students did an incredible job teaching hands-on environmental science and instilling the importance of lifelong learning and environmental stewardship.  Everyone left the weekend feeling a little (or a lot) changed for the better.  That's what time in nature with friends can do.

High School Engineering Challenge Weekend!

March 22-23, 2013 - This year, approximately 100 high school students successfully designed and tested solar vehicles!  Teams built their own transmissions and designed every aspect of their vehicles.  Of course, speed was measured, but we also looked at technical precision, aerodynamics, transmission design, and placement of soda can (which was the "cargo space").  Students did a great job as usual!

National Recognition: NSTA Writes Article About SMILE

March 12, 2013 - Check out the article that the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) wrote about SMILE and another effective afterschool program in NYC!

Read the article here

Collegiate SMILE Becomes Senate-Recognized at URI

March 2013 - There are 75 students currently at URI who were in The SMILE Program in elementary, middle, and/or high school. Many of them decided to start a Collegiate SMILE organization at URI with their own mission.  Please check out their website to learn more.

Collegiate SMILE Webpage

Middle School Engineering Challenge Weekend!

March 1-2, 2013 - This year, students successfully designed blades, built the nacelle and blades, and tested to see how much voltage their wind turbine could produce.  Students met lots of new friends and got to experience URI's campus.  The challenge was introduced by Mark DePasquale (Wind Energy Development, LLC).  He invited students to visit his wind turbine, which was recently erected in North Kingstown.  This field trip will take place in the spring!

More Challenge Photos

Narragansett Times Article about MS Challenge

Family Science Nights are in full swing

November/December, 2012 - Family Science Nights bring together SMILE students, their families, community members, and administrators. Students enthusiastically demonstrate interactive science activities.  This year, they taught us about their local watershed.  Students and parents also learn more about college admission.  And you can't beat these potlucks!

 

Winter Professional Development at URI

November 30, 2012 - Elementary, middle, and high school SMILE teachers attended a workshop at the University of Rhode Island.  Elementary will make discoveries about ecosystems, habitats, and population diversity; middle will be investigating wind turbines; and high school will be delving into vehicle design and solar power.

SMILE Annual Report Update

Please note that there was a mistake in SMILE's 2011-2012 Annual Report.  On page 10 of the report, it stated that "only 59 percent of applicants are admitted to the program [Program in Liberal Medical Education]."  In fact, only 4% of applicants were admitted to the PLME program this year.  Brown accepted only 115 students from close to 2900 applicants.  The enrollment, however, was of only 61 students, and only 2 of them were from RI, including David Hernandez, a SMILE alumnus!  Our apologies for the typo!

Summer Teacher Workshops!

July 17-19, 2012 - SMILE teacher leaders came to URI for the rolling out of the brand new Watershed Monitoring curriculum.  Despite the heat, we practiced the outdoor investigations, looking at water quality, macroinvertebrates, wildlife, and vegetation.  Thanks, as usual, to all those that volunteered their expertise at the workshop (Chris Mason, President of Mason & Associates, Inc., Lorraine Joubert, NEMO Director, Matt Deane, MESM student, Denise Poyer, Program Director at Wood Pawcatuck Watershed Association, Neil Anthes, Kettle Pond Visitor Center, and Josh Sargent, URI Watershed Watch).  Also, a special thanks to Cathy Valentino, Author-in-Residence at Houghton Mifflin/Harcourt Publishers, who always brings inspiration to teachers.

More Workshop Photos

 

Field Trip to GSO!

May 14 & 15, 2012 - High School SMILE students took a field trip to the Graduate School of Oceanography.  They tested their ROVs in Narragansett Bay, captured phytoplankton, collected water samples to do bacterial counts, and used a YSI device to collect water data.  Science in the real world!  Thank you to the volunteers from EPSCoR, GSO, and the Dep't of Health for your expertise!

More Field Trip PHOTOS

 

Central Falls High School SMILE Students Plant a Rain Garden!

May 8, 2012 - CFHS SMILE students planted a rain garden at the corner of Roosevelt Avenue and Charles Street in Central Falls as part of their Watershed Stewardship Project and the city's Chocolate Mill Overlook project (http://www.chocolatemilloverlook.com/).  Nice job guys!

More Rain Garden PHOTOS

 

Elementary Outdoor Science Adventure!

April 27-29, 2012 - This event to remember for all involved - it is life-changing for SMILE students and college students alike.  URI students spend a semester planning and preparing for making the EOSA a meaningful and powerful weekend for the 4th and 5th grade SMILE students.  They plan environmental field studies and think about ways to build self-esteem and confidence in these incredible young people and encourage them to continue with SMILE through 12th grade and to attend higher education.  Most importantly, their love for learning and spirit of fun and adventure is fostered.  It was a huge success.

More EOSA PHOTOS

 

Middle School Engineering Challenge Weekend!

March 30-31, 2012 - This year, middle school students designed, built, and tested Magnetically Levitated Trains and Hydraulic Cranes! All teams were successful!

More Middle School Challenge PHOTOS

 

High School Engineering Challenge Weekend!

March 2-3, 2012 - This year, high school students designed, built, and tested Remotely Operated Vehicles to "Save the Lobster!"

More High School Challenge PHOTOS

 

EOSA Videos!

March 28, 2012 - This year, URI mentors who will be teaching SMILE elementary students at Alton Jones this Spring put together videos for the students!


Horgan Elementary - West Warwick


Central Falls - Ella Risk


Coleman - Woonsocket


Harris - Woonsocket


South Kingstown Elementary

Contact Information

The SMILE Program
University of Rhode Island
305 Memorial Union
Kingston, RI 02881

p. 401.874.2036
f. 401.874.2620

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Collegiate SMILE at URI