The SMILE (Science and Math Integrated Learning Experiences) Program has been led by Oregon State University (OSU) for the past quarter century to increase post-secondary enrollment of underserved populations in the STEM fields. SMILE supports after-school clubs serving 650 students grades 4-12 in 35 schools in 13 rural communities throughout the state. Targeting low-income children of color, the clubs meet weekly and are led by 50 school-day science teachers. The SMILE Program has served more than 7,500 students and 365 teachers since its inception. Other components of SMILE include exposure to higher education through college connection events such as day-long trips to a regional college for elementary and middle school club members, an overnight High School Challenge at OSU, and annual Math and Science Family Nights at partner schools for students and their families. SMILE is funded by Oregon State University, local school districts and charter schools, and private philanthropy. SMILE was replicated in Rhode Island starting in 1994, with the University of Rhode Island as the lead.
Author: Oregon State University