Empowered by STE(A)M
Our STEAM program exposes youth to the wonders of STEM. It is also deliberate in helping children improve their psychosocial health and assisting in increasing their social and emotional development.
This program was designed by mental health clinicians and education specialist whom also have backgrounds in the performing arts, and in the sciences creating a recipe for a special program.
Q: Why did Showcase Group establish a STEM-based Program?
A: Showcase Group (SG) is known for providing social and emotional learning groups for at risk youth including children involved in juvenile justice system, youth currently admitted in a Youth Detention Center (YDC), and in community youth after school centers. The SG leadership felt that there was something missing and brainstormed ideas to create activities that would amplify the social and emotional learning initiatives and noticed that the activities were STEM and arts heavy. After a review of the literature around other STEM programs we decided that implementing STEAM into our intervention was a viable way to make significant impact with the youth.
We have been working on our approach for years and have been asked very interesting questions by partners and collaborators that have inspired their involvement with Showcase Group and our Empowered by STEAM program. Here are some of the common questions that have helped inspire partnerships that led to fantastic quality services to youth such as the Juvenile Justice Hackathon in collaboration with Georgia State University, Alonzo Crim Center, or our Empowered by STEAM Series in the Education Transition Centers, GA Department of Juvenile Justice.
Q: What was the inspiration behind Empowered by STEAM?
A: We were inspired by our children. Many of them feel invisible and cannot fully understand all the things that had happen to them. Many believe that no one cares about them especially those involved in the juvenile justice system. We found that if our approach works for the population in the juvenile justice system it can work for all youth. We want to make a true impact in the community and what truly inspired our efforts was our experiences serving youth where a very small number of people get to go and truly get to experience these young people from a different prospective. The two executives of the Showcase Group are licensed mental health professionals however one is also a performance artist and the other is a research scholar.
Q: What are your impact levels?
A: We seek to make a change from neurons to neighborhoods – from individual behavior to sociological outcomes. We have been students of the neuroscience behind behavior, as we draw our ideas and approach from psychology, sociology, biology, and the health sciences to name a few that helps us further understand the human story. At SG we believe that we must understand the conditions of the human narrative if we truly want to help each other and that is what is beneath our Empowered by STEAM program.