SEM Link Awarded Grant from Science Sandbox to support STEM Journal Club

By: SEM Link
ATLANTA - Oct. 13, 2021 - PRLog -- Science, Engineering and Mathematics Link Inc. (SEM Link) was awarded a grant from Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation, to support the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Journal Club.  The STEM Journal Club will use the $54,980 grant to cultivate the next generation of STEM Researchers. The journal club, a program of SEM Link's Experimental Design Program, aims to develop STEM literacy skills in high school students from ethnic and racial communities with historically low participation in high-level STEM research competitions. Participants will engage in scholarly research, read and analyze STEM literature, and gain exposure to relevant concepts to spark their interest in STEM Research. "I am elated that Science Sandbox has invested in this program. We aspire for our participants to increase their confidence in reading STEM journals, communicating STEM topics to diverse audiences and engaging in STEM Research. Support for this program is a powerful step in removing a significant barrier to these students." states Ms. Tokiwa T. Smith, SEM Link Founder and Executive Director.

This grant award will support the second cohort of the STEM Journal Club for Metro Atlanta high school students which begins in October 2021 and ends in May 2022. SEM Link is building upon the success of the first cohort from the program pilot in the 2020-21 program year. A comparison of participant pre and post assessment data revealed an increase in confidence in the ability to read and discuss STEM journal articles. The journal club curriculum, developed by Dr. Ryan Clark, Program Co-Director, is a "hybrid" journal club model focused on teaching students how to critically, read, dissect analyze, evaluate, and discuss research articles while incorporating social media and small group discussions. Additionally, Program Instructor Mr. Mikaili Abdullah, a third year PhD student in Biomedical Sciences, will lead monthly supplemental discussions to simplify key concepts related to the journal article of the month. To train students on communicating STEM topics to diverse audiences, the final project for the STEM Journal Club participants is the creation of a podcast episode based on a STEM journal article. Mr. M-T Strickland, an electrical engineer and experienced podcaster, will walk students through the process of developing a podcast and recording in a podcast studio. "The STEM Journal Club is designed to address the need for high school students to increase their ability to critically read, analyze, evaluate, discuss and present scientific information. By equipping students with these vital skills, we aim to positively impact their self-efficacy, their ability to succeed in the high school classroom, successful matriculation through an undergraduate STEM program and impact their preparation for a successful STEM career," stated Dr. Ryan Clark Program Co-Director and Curriculum Developer.

About SEM Link
SEM Link is a nonprofit organization whose programs increase K-12 students' awareness of STEM careers and encourage their participation in STEM research through digital learning and hands-on activities. For more information about SEM Link organization visit our website at or email us at

About Science Sandbox

Science Sandbox is an initiative of the Simons Foundation dedicated to inspiring a deeper interest in science, especially among those who don't think of themselves as science enthusiasts. We support and collaborate with programs that unlock scientific thinking in everyone. For more information about Science Sandbox, visit our website at For all press-related and awardee-related matters and inquiries, please contact

Tokiwa T. Smith
Source:SEM Link
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