Elsevier Foundation supports IMC Weekend School as part of mission to build a diverse STEM workforce

Published: Tuesday 15th November 2016
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Immersing children in the world of science and medicine

“Nurse, pass me the scissors please,” asks Aysha, 10 years old, professionally stretching out his arm to receive the instrument. When he grows up he wants to be “a foot doctor,” but for now, he struggles with the term “orthopedists” when the nurse patiently repeats it to him.

Two floors below, Amir is learning how to apply gel for an ultrasound scan, and to identify the blurry images on the screen.

On this warm Sunday afternoon, there are more than 40 children scattered around the hospital wards, feeling their own heartbeats with oversized stethoscopes and carefully measuring their pulses, getting into little white coats and green caps. Last Sunday, they learned how a general practitioner works, and the next, they will follow the doctors on an ambulance.

The children are enrolled in IMC Weekend School in Amsterdam, which gives them a wide range of opportunities to learn about the world of sciences, the arts and cultural studies with the help of more than 3,000 professionals and volunteers each year. Each Sunday, they gather in one of 10 branches of the school in the Netherlands to learn how a magazine is written and published, or how to recognize the Great Bear constellation in the night sky.

The school, designed by psychologist Heleen Terwijn and founded in collaboration with the trading firm IMC (International Marketmakers Combination), opened its doors in 1998 to underprivileged children of the South-East area of Amsterdam. Now it has 10 schools, 15 career fields, 2,087 alumni, 1,100 students and over 100 private and corporate funders.

To foster the future of science and to help underserved children get greater exposure to science and health education, the Elsevier Foundation will donate $100,000 over four years to IMC Weekend School. The grant supports weekend enrichment modules that not only encourage STM careers among youth from communities that have severely limited educational resources – but also promote positive professional role models.

Read the full article here: “Immersing children in the world of science and medicine“, Domiziana Francescon, 15 September 2016