Jesuit STEM Goes Beyond the Classroom

Jesuit Magazine Fall 21/22

Are You Ready to Launch?

Echelon Catapult (EC) was started by Donovan Jasper ’21 and his teammates on the Cybersecurity Team in April 2020 to provide free/low-cost STEM workshops to elementary/middle school students. The team has since grown to include more than 15 Jesuit and St. Francis High School students. EC develops its own workshop curriculum in fields such as cybersecurity, computer science, biology, astronomy, anatomy and physiology. They were a large part of the Summer at Jesuit faculty leading STEM components of the Academics Plus and Academy camps. The team has already been tasked to develop the summer 2022 programs. Echelon Catapult, who is supported by the Aerospace Museum of California as its fiscal sponsor, is on the Jesuit campus Echelon@Jesuit, a Jesuit High School student club, and is led by Charles Sander ’23 and club moderator Mr. Justin Tsai, to recruit new members to drive its STEM Outreach and Service programs.

What About Data Science?

Since May 2021, interested elementary and middle school students who attended Echelon Catapult workshops previously, have been invited to join weekly group study sessions focused on cybersecurity and computer science. The training prepares students for coding and cybersecurity competitions such as HPE CodeWars, California Cyber Innovation Challenge, and National Cyber League. It will also soon include Jupyter Notebook for data analysis with Python. This Cyber+Python +Data Science study group will operate as one of Echelon@Jesuit’s STEM Outreach & Service projects. Currently, there are 15+ members in the program from elementary and middle schools.

Like Math? How ‘Bout Mentoring?

In August 2021, members of the Jesuit Mathletes Team—Matthew Mellas ’22, Michael Lee ’22, Benjamin Condrin ’23, and Charles Sander ’23—began a conversation to create two additional outreach & service projects, a Mathletes study group to train middle school students for mathematics competitions and another that, in the mode of Big Brothers, pairs high school students with middle school students from underserved communities to mentor them to ensure their academic success later in high school. This Echelon@Jesuit Mentorship for students from underserved communities will be supported by Mr. Justin Tsai and Ms. Judi Brown, the Math department chair. The pilot program is currently recruiting dedicated JHS and SFHS students from science clubs and academic organizations such as the National Honor Society and California Scholarship Federation. n