November 15

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My Friend Ed

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My PULSE assignment is going well. So much so, I’m reluctant to take the time to blog about it. I’m well past the half-way point so it’s time to tell you what going on. I’m working for the Philadelphia Education Fund and most folks refer to it as the Ed Fund. It’s a well established resource for local schools and organizations. They’ve immersed me in the world of education (in general) and STEM (in particular.) STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. My assignment is to connect STEM professionals with local students. So far, I’ve researched peer programs, identified resources and began implementing a process. It’s far from perfect but we’re gaining traction. There’s a lot of moving pieces: volunteers, educators, coordinators, surveys, background checks and communications. Some days I hyperventilate, thinking, this will never be nailed down by the end of my assignment! Other days, I take a deep breath, do a little earthing and try to stay present. This whole assignment is an exercise in operating through ambiguity. My manager often quotes a paper she read in college. It’s titled, “Learning to Love the Swamp.” It’s an appropriate quote because my assignment is often murky, troublesome and uncomfortable. Yet, I’ve begun to care about the Ed Fund, the mission of STEM education and their impact on Philadelphia’s future.

Not all work at the Ed Fund has been swampy. A lot of it has been fun, interesting and educational. I’m smiling just thinking of all that has come to pass. I had the pleasure of designing flyers for their professional development workshops and the Explore STEM Philly program. It was nice to tap into a skill set that use to be my bread and butter at GSK. I got to do LOTS of internet research on STEM education programs and interview partnership organizations. It was especially nice to have the leisure of time… for following results that often brought me 3 or 4 topics removed from my original keyword search. There are so many cool tools out there: Event Brite, Doodle, Wix, Sign-Up Genius (to list a few.) I visited a hydroponics system at local high school and observed curriculum development for middle school students to research and bank data on local biodiversity. All of this is fascinating for a girl that has no scientific background but a love of learning.

Well, there’s more but I’ll save it for another post. I want to finish with a word about the Ed Fund. They have a great crew dedicated to helping and developing teachers and students so they are poised for success in their career, their family and their organizations. This organization is worthy of funding. Check out their website at http://www.philaedfund.org. Or use their United Way Donor Choice #43136.