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Mission & Aims

Chicago Science Works is envisioned as a novel STEAM-themed learning hub and destination promoting teen self-realization and neighborhood revitalization.

Inspire self-realization among Southside teens with 21st century STEAM pathways
STEAM-themed programs and opportunities to engage Southside teens.

Function as a science hub for online content, creative projects and learning
Cultivate individual student and cohort learning and social development using online and makerspace resources.

Create a unique Southside greenspace for plants and select animals
Provide year-round horticulture and animal science engagement with connections to recent and ancient Africa.

Enhance neighborhood-university exchange in science and community development
Teen programming and mentoring, school visitation, and presentations and events for adults and families to stimulate interchange and opportunity.


Chicago Science Works is envisioned as a ground-breaking, interactive learning center for Southside teens that places under one roof:

  • STEAM library
  • eCafé
  • Makerspace labs
  • Prehistoric conservatory & vivarium
  • Community idea room
  • Launchpad for park & habitat visits


2017 Conference

A variety of experts and stakeholders, including community leaders, STEAM/makerspace educators, design experts and architects, participated in a full-day conference at the Neubauer Collegium, STEAM Engagement & Neighborhood Revival on Chicago’s South Side, to consider whether and how science education, more specifically STEAM, might play a role in supporting and strengthening neighborhoods.

CSW Advisors

Paul Sereno, Ph.D.

Professor, Dept. of Organismal Biology & Anatomy, University of Chicago

Walter E. Massey, Ph.D.

President Emeritus, School of The Art Institute of Chicago and Fmr. Director  of  NSF & Argonne Nat’l Laboratory

Allison S. Davis, J.D.

Real Estate Developer & Lawyer and Fmr. Senior Partner, Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland

Jessica Biggs, M.Ed.

Director of SW System of Care, Southwest Organizing Project and Fmr. Principal, Burke Elementary

Kamau Murray, M.B.A

Founder and CEO of the XS Tennis and Education Foundation

Jacqueline Stewart, Ph.D.

Professor, Dept. of Cinema and Media Studies, University of Chicago

Zeray Alemseged, Ph.D.

Professor, Dept. of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, University of Chicago

Erin Adams, Ph.D.

Professor, Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Chicago

Torrey L. Barrett

Principal, Imagine Development Group and founder CEO, KLEO Center

Elisabeth Long, MLS

Associate University Librarian, University of Chicago

Matthew Meyer, MSIT

Executive Director of Academic Technology Solutions, University of Chicago

Marc Berman, Ph.D.

Assoc. Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Chicago

Rev. Jesse Knox, III, M.R.E.

Senior Minister, Church of the Good Shepherd UCC

Lisa Roberts, Ph.D.

Founder & Principal, Naturalia, Inc.

Rich Crowley, M.B.A.

Compliance Lead, Argonne National Laboratory and Fmr. President of the Chicago Herpetological Society

Tim Knowles, Ph.D.

President, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

Jeremy Dunn, MLIS

Director of Teen Services, Chicago Public Library

Orrin Williams

Food System Coordinator, Office of Community Engagement & Health Partnerships, UIC and Community Advisor, Sweet Water Foundation

Rebel Roberts

Practice Leader, Stantec

Joy Bergelson, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Ecology & Evolution, University of Chicago

John Archer

President, Chicago Herpetological Society

Christie Thomas, MLIS

Head, Data Management Services, University of Chicago

Bob Bavirsha

Chicago Herpetological Society

Miriam Silberman

Student, Washington University in St. Louis