STEM United Project
Erika Gillette (Greece)
Erika Gillette is running an exciting program, STEM United Project, for refugee children in camps located in Greece that provides science experiments with practical outcomes – knowledge and take-home gadgets. With a Masters in Education from Columbia University, Erika specializes in working with students who have suffered trauma and has created a structured, differentiated and multi-sensory science curriculum, which allows all learners to be scientists. She brings years of experience in developing effective science-based hands-on kits that transcend language barriers for children in informal education settings. Her goal is to expand opportunities for STEM education for refugee children to inspire a future generation of scientists.
In December 2018, Katerina's contract as a science and math teacher in Skaramagas Refugee Accommodation Site outside Athens was ending and the program would not continue. Katerina was having a hard time adjusting to the idea that she would leave her beloved students. Then she met BH Fellow Erika Gillette for dinner who showed her the science kits she was developing right on the restaurant table. Using her experience from working at the Science Museum, Katerina used Erika’s science kits to teach her final lessons and gave her students something to remember. Katerina became Erika's co-Fellow and will be focusing this year on continuing teacher training in public schools and NGOs. She will also be launching the first online global Science Festival for students who have experienced interrupted education.
We fund programs, projects and products that aim to positively impact the lives of communities (children, youth, families, etc.) affected by conflict and war in the Middle East.
Refugee children live under unusual and difficult conditions with little or no access to technology that can improve their lives. With our innovative programs, we are reaching a wide range of children with groundbreaking technology that teach them literacy skills and improve their access to higher education.
Millions of refugee children are missing out on an education. Without an opportunity to learn, they risk becoming a lost generation with little chance for a better future. Through sustainable programs, our Fellows are working to ensure refugees can learn and develop the skills they need to succeed in life.
The development of the "whole child" from early childhood through adolescence is critical to long-term development and success of all children. Blossom Hill is committed to providing innovative initiatives for refugee children that will not only prepare them for learning and academic success, but empower them with life skills as they continue to live under difficult conditions.
For refugee youth whose education has been interrupted and ability to earn a livelihood undermined by war and conflict, the future is bleak. We are dedicated to empowering these youth to break from the cycle of poverty by offering innovative vocational training in computer skills, business entrepreneurship and language instruction.