Bilingual Engineering and Science Outreach Program (BESO)
This outreach partnership between the CPLC, SACNAS, and the Urbana 116 and Champaign Unit 4 School Districts’ dual language education programs fosters engagement in science for local elementary school children in Spanish and English. Graduate students are paired with individual classes in order to build stronger bonds with students. In the Spring term, the elementary school students come to Illinois and visit the labs of these same graduate students. In doing so, they are able to see how the techniques used in the research labs relate to the activities they did in the classroom. By having a cadre of STEM graduate student mentors who mirror the ethnic, racial, socioeconomic, and linguistic diversity of the student body, and who develop long-term relationships with schools and students, we hope to increase the number of students interested in STEM.