IFly STEM field trip

STUDIO had an opportunity to do the IFly STEM based education workshop and also had a chance to fly in their wind tunnel. 

This blurb about the field trip was taken from the IFly website:

Our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) program uses our state-of-the-art vertical wind tunnel to inspire and educate students. Trained and reviewed STEM educators will guide your students through an interactive presentation, demos in the wind tunnel and grade-appropriate lab activities.  


Real Stats for NBA & Pro Sports Aspirations

  • 5.2% chance to make it into Harvard http://www.businessinsider.com/ivy-league-harvard-yale-princeton-acceptance-rates-class-of-2021-2017-3

  • .03% chance of making it into the NBA (https://www.livestrong.com/article/365997-what-percentage-of-high-school-players-make-it-to-the-nba/)

  • Don’t lie to yourself.

  • If you’re not out on the courts practicing footwork drills, conditioning (like push-ups), different shots, scrimmaging, looking up strategies, practicing teamwork, doing all of those, year-round when you’re not doing homework, eating, school, and sleeping, there’s going to be somebody who is TRYING HARDER than you that will have a higher chance of making it into the NBA than you.

  • If you truly wanted to make it into the NBA, you have to be obsessed with Basketball at an early age, and willing to do pretty much whatever it takes, NOT playing Fortnite.

  • If everyone could make it into the NBA, then everyone would be doing it, but not everyone is!!

  • 30 teams x 15 players per team = 450 players total (http://www.nba.com/news/faq)

  • United States Population = 325,700,000 people, which means 450/325,700,000 people are in the NBA at any point in time, can you confidently say that you will be one of those 450 people?

  • The goal isn’t to say that you can’t try for the NBA, the NFL, or professional sports, the goal is to have both that AND a career after your sports and/or a back-up career if you still want to become successful like we see in celebrities and rich people.

  • STUDIO is dedicated to helping youth find their passions that they can pursue in college and beyond, that still allow youth to become successful people, that includes those trying to get into Harvard, which has a higher percentage of entry than the NBA.

  • Come check us out!

Envisioning Life after High-School

In addition to the curriculum-based content we provide at STUDIO, we also want to provide youth with access to resources that will aid them in achieving their post high-school plans. Here’s some lesser known information about high-school and beyond that might help youth in planning for their futures.

During High School

Using Extracurriculars

High-school is a great opportunity to participate in activities known as extracurriculars that will not only help you grow as a person but also make yourself more marketable for jobs ands colleges once you graduate.

Nearly every four-year school or scholarships you will want to apply to requires that you complete an activity log of the different activities and extracurriculars you have done while in high-school. If you want to apply to a job, even the most entry level position will want to see some kind of demonstration that you are a responsible individual.

When thinking about extracurriculars you want to do while in high-school, quality is better than quality. You don’t have to be involved in multiple clubs in different leadership positions, what matters is that you have a meaningful experience in the club or clubs you are a part of. It’s also important to show that you are a consistent person. It’s much better to have been a part of a one club for three years than been in three different clubs for less a year each. Schools want to see you are a dedicated, committed person.

There are activities that you might not consider relevant to an activity log but in fact are. Sports are an extracurricular worth noting. Participating in a sport shows you can balance school work and the extra work that goes into being a student athlete. Involvement with a church or place of worship is also something you can write about that you might not have considered. If you worked while in high-school, you can talk about this too. All you need to do is show that you are a responsible, hard-working person outside of the classroom. Schools want to see you didn’t spend all your free time partying or playing video-games!

Even though it might not be apparent, extracurriculars are an important part of your high-school experience. If you’re not currently a part of an extracurricular, try and sign up for one! It will not only look good for future job and school prospects but will give you opportunities to grow into a leader.

What is the PSAT?

If you’re currently in high-school, you might have heard of the PSAT. The PSAT is a practice SAT test designed to give you an idea of what kind of score you would get if you took it. (In case you didn’t know, the SAT is a test you normally take before you attend a four-year university, it is part of the admissions process.) While it might not seem important being a practice test, you should take the PSAT seriously and try your best. The reason for this is because the PSAT is a way for you to earn scholarship money!

If you take the PSAT during your junior year and you earn a high enough score on your PSAT (high enough to be in the top 16,000 test-takers) you can become what’s called a national merit semifinalist. When you’re at this status you complete an additional application, which includes documenting your grades so far in high-school. After this part of the application, you can become a national merit finalist and be eligible to receive scholarships up to $2,500! Being a semifinalist or finalist are great awards to list on a resume or college application. Even though it’s just a practice test, the PSAT has the potential to give you real cash for college.

Get a “Running Start” on College

If you’re a current high-school student, you can (as the name implies) get a head start on your college career by enrolling in running start. Running start is a program where you will attend a local community college to take classes that will fulfill high-school graduation requirements and can also be used to fulfill college course requirements.

There are some things to consider however if you’re thinking about doing Running Start though. Your classes in Running Start may be significantly more difficult than your high school classes. You might find yourself dedicating much more time to your studies than previously. You’ll need a focused and determined mindset to succeed in these classes (which you will need for college anyways). It is also important to understand that since these are college classes, they will follow you for your entire college career. Even if you transfer schools, all colleges will want to see transcripts from the schools you attended. So, if having a high GP is important for you, (for example you want to get into a specific competitive undergraduate or graduate program) keep this in mind.

Another difference for Running Start is that while you will not have to pay tuition, you will have to pay for books and other supplies. The cost can usually be mitigated by buying used and other creative means. As a running start student, you will also be responsible for getting yourself to the community college campus. Yu will need to coordinate with family, friends, or yourself via public transit to get to school when you have Running Start.

Overall, Running Start is a great program to get a feel for college level coursework and get a jump start on your future, (ambitious students can even end up with an associate degree out of high-school), but you should reflect thoroughly before deciding to sign up.


If you want to attend a four year university in the state of Washington, before you graduate high school you will needed to complete certain classes. These certain classes are called College Academic Distribution Requirements or CADRs for short. To fulfill your CADRS you’ll need a certain number of classes for certain subject areas. For example, for English you’ll need four credits or years. There are important caveats for certain subject areas however. In English you can only use one year of ELL credit as part of your four-year requirement. That means that if you’re a senior and have done two years of ELL English during freshman and sophomore year, you’ll need to double up on English for the last year.

Also, it’s important to note that CADRs will be different from your high-school graduation requirements. You might need more or less classes in order to graduate high-school.

If you don’t complete your CADRs don’t worry, they’re just for four-year universities. You can still attend community colleges and private universities in the state of Washington. Be aware that universities in other states might have different subject requirements to attend a university there.

You can get a full list of Washington state CADR requirements at http://www.wsac.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2014.CADRS.Detailed.pdf

After High School

Two Tuition Free Years of College

If you’re a student at Chief Sealth International high school, you’ll be able to attend two years at South Seattle community college tuition free. Mayor Jenny Durkan recently enacted the Seattle Promise Tuition Program which guarantees two years of paid tuition at a local community college. All students are eligible regardless of income, grades, or citizenship. You’ll be able to study whatever you like at the college, whether it’s a certification or working towards an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

This program only applies to community college at the moment, but if you’re interested in attending a four-year university at some point, you can always spend the first two years of your college career at a community college and then transfer to a university.

An Alternative to College: Apprenticeships

There are many pathways to finding a career and a lot of them do not involve the traditional four-year university track. One potential career pathway is working as an apprentice. Apprenticeships are programs offered by employers, unions, and other independent programs where you can receive training and education to build the skills needed to perform a certain task. Electricians, plumbers, welders, firefighters, and mechanics are all examples of jobs that you can receive an education in through an apprenticeship. Licenses, certifications, and even degrees are the result of apprenticeship programs.

While doing an apprenticeship, you might receive in-classroom teaching, mentorship, and on the job site training. You will have ample opportunities to learn about your trade and how to apply what you learn to their actual real-world context. A college degree might not necessarily prepare you for a job in your career field, but an apprenticeship certainly will!

So how do you get started on an apprenticeship? To pursue an apprenticeship, you’ll usually need a high-school diploma, be 18 years of age or old, after often, you will need to be in good physical condition. From there you will need to find programs that currently looking for people and then complete an application. An application will look at documents like your resume, work experience and even demonstration of knowledge like high-school math classes. Different apprenticeships programs have different requirements to apply and join.  apprenticeship.lni.wa.gov is a great resource for apprenticeship programs in Washington state. After you apply and get accepted into a program, from then on, it’s as simple as attending classes and completing a program.

Apprenticeships are a great career path if you’re not interested in a pursing a degree at a four-year college. King County plumbers and pipe fitters can earn around$77/hr!



Engineering Solutions

STUDIO’s Tuesday activities this spring are based around the Engineering Design Process. Through this curriculum, we hope to give youth experience designing solutions to engineering dilemmas, make it clear that engineering is not something that only happens in a classroom but something that can be applied to any problem, and give youth the tools and thought process to tackles problems in their everyday lives. Facilitating this curriculum has given me the opportunity to see how youth interact with engineering.  

An innovative approach to fortifying the marshmallow tower. 

An innovative approach to fortifying the marshmallow tower. 

One thing that strikes me is the unique and novel solutions come with to tackle situations. One task I gave to the STUDIO youth was to build a one-foot tall tower using only marshmallows and toothpicks. Someone who has done this task, or a similar construction project before knows that using triangles is the key to building. During my activity the youth did not immediately recognize but instead approached the problem using a variety of different approaches. One youth placed a large number of marshmallows within the bounds of her tower’s base to help with stability. It was a great example of youth thinking outside the box! I would have never thought of using such an approach.

After this tower activity and a discussion or triangles as a vital support structure, we moved onto our popsicle bridge building activity. Our goal: design a model bridge that is able to support the weight of a person. In this activity we iterated the stages of our design principles. We identified a problem (in this case, I told them they needed to build a replacement bridge for the local West Seattle bridge), designed a solution (using planning sheets and sketches), and then prototyped our solution (the physical popsicle bridges). From the beginning it was clear that many of the youth had great ideas for how they wanted their bridge to look and function but making that idea a reality proved more challenging. It was a fascinating experience to watch how the youth adapted their designs to fit what was technically feasible.  I think this also highlighted an important part of the engineering process, understanding how to work within the constraints of one’s materials and tools and design a solution around those.

Sometimes solutions don't work exactly as planned!

Sometimes solutions don't work exactly as planned!

The next project we’re going to be working on is the design of a water rocket that will be able to reach a high altitude while also being able to safely hold a cargo (an egg). I’m excited and curious to see what kind of solutions the youth will come up with to tackle this problem.

-Alexander Giardino

Y-WE Career Day at Cascadia Community College

On Saturday (4/21) we were able to take some of the women in STUDIO to the Young-Women Empowered (Y-WE) Career Day which was held at the Cascadia Community College campus in Bothell, Washington. Y-WE Career Day is an event primarily for women, girls and female-identified youth ages 13-18.  Our young women got to meet successful women in different industries, as well as learn about their journeys and tips for career success. Some of the workshop topics included: 7 Common Career Myths, Creating Your Personal Brand, Flight Nursing: Airlift, and so much more! 

A little more about Y-WE:

Y-WE provides mentorship and empowerment programs for teen women in the greater Seattle area. We serve a diverse group of girls, ages 13-18, and women mentors, ages 19-70+. The organization is open to young women from all walks of life. Currently, over 70% of the youth are immigrants to the US and 80% of the youth and 50% of the adults are women of color. Our youth and mentors also represent a myriad of family, sexual orientation, religious, political, and educational backgrounds. We offer our programs free of charge, and we invite families to contribute as they are able.  Each year we directly serve over 500 girls and women; and we impact over 1500 community members.


Y-WE STEM day at Microsoft


This past Saturday we were able to take some of the women in STUDIO to the Y-WE STEM Exploration day which was held on the Microsoft campus in Redmond.  Y-WE STEM Exploration Day is an event primarily for women, girls and female-identified youth ages 13-18.  Our young women got to explore various workshops catered toward STEM empowerment.  some of the workshop topics included: Social VR, sexism in comic books, tinkering with circuits, and so much more! 

A little more about Y-WE:

Y-WE provides mentorship and empowerment programs for teen women in the greater Seattle area. We serve a diverse group of girls, ages 13-18, and women mentors, ages 19-70+. The organization is open to young women from all walks of life. Currently, over 70% of the youth are immigrants to the US and 80% of the youth and 50% of the adults are women of color. Our youth and mentors also represent a myriad of family, sexual orientation, religious, political, and educational backgrounds. We offer our programs free of charge, and we invite families to contribute as they are able.  Each year we directly serve over 500 girls and women; and we impact over 1500 community members.


Monday Sports & Why STUDIO?

Come play basketball and other sports with STUDIO on Mondays after-school! The program goes from 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm, and is designed for middle-school to high-school girls and boys. Our team will work with youth to develop hand-eye coordination, strategy, physical training, and mental attitude to increase success in school, STEM, athletics, and their future careers. Youth simply need to drop by Neighborhood House High Point (Address: 6400 Sylvan Way SW, Seattle, WA 98126 at 4:00 pm! 

For the rest of our programs on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, you should also come check us out! Here's why:

  • The time management, projects, concepts, and soft skills learned in STUDIO transfer to resumes for high-school and college internships as well as jobs after high-school.
    • Employers want to find the best-of-the-best in various skills and not just high grades!
  • The most successful people such as Barack Obama, Russell Wilson, Kendrick Lamar, LeBron James, Bill Gates, etc. started early in their career training.
    • STUDIO offers youth around High Point these same opportunities!
  • We offer tutoring, college application, and career advice in every STEM field for all youth, having been through these processes ourselves as middle-school and high-school students.
  • For youth that are still not sure about the future careers they would like to pursue, STUDIO provides opportunities to explore careers they are not normally exposed to in school.
  • Youth will get the opportunity to interact, ask questions about, and build future career skills with experts in STEM fields.

So come check us out!