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GSK Science in the Summer™ Aims to Inspire Youth with STEM Learning through the ‘Science of Me’

The popular free summer program, sponsored by global healthcare company GSK and operated by Philadelphia’s renowned science learning space, The Franklin Institute, kicks off registration on May 13 and promises a one-of-a-kind science experience.

Issued: Philadelphia, PA

GSK and The Franklin Institute are partnering again this summer to provide elementary-school children with fun and engaging STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning throughout the summer months. In its 33rd year, GSK Science in the Summer™ will return to local libraries with its free enrichment program – this year themed “The Science of Me” - for students entering grades 2-6. Registration for this year’s programming across the Greater Philadelphia region begins on Monday, May 13 at noon online via www.fi.edu/scienceinthesummer, with Philadelphia county sites opening first.

This summer, nearly 5,000 children in the Greater Philadelphia are expected to participate in GSK Science in the Summer™ at 152 local library sites. The program, which runs through August, partners with the Free Library System of Philadelphia and library systems in Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties to bring interactive science activities taught by certified local teachers to children in every corner of the city and beyond. This year’s theme – The Science of Me – will explore the biological systems that make humans fundamentally alike, as well as the elements that interact to create a unique individual, with activities that highlight digestive system, the heart, the brain, and DNA.

“Programming for GSK Science in the Summer™ is carefully curated to include rigorous and thought-provoking activities that are age-appropriate and tackle questions that are familiar to elementary-school children,” said Becki Lynch, Director of US Community Partnerships at GSK. “Our goal is to demonstrate that by thinking about everyday processes – like what happens to food when you eat it or how your brain tells you to move – that you are thinking like a scientist, and this could be your future.”

Created in Philadelphia three decades ago by retired GSK scientist, Dr. Virginia Cunningham, GSK Science in the Summer™ continues to inspire a sense of curiosity and a love of science in young children year round. While elementary school has been identified as a pivotal time of learning for students, the summer months have increasingly become a dead zone for learning and “summer slide” is now a common experience nationwide, with a greater impact among low-income and underserved communities. By providing free educational programming and exposure to topics in STEM, GSK Science in the Summer™ fills the gap, reaching more than 30,000 children annually. Additionally, GSK Science in the Summer™ coursework and supporting activities are made available online for parents, caretakers, and educators to experience and use all year long.

“At The Franklin Institute, we interact with and engage children in science daily, but what makes GSK Science in the Summer™ special is its focus and commitment to bringing STEM directly to children’s neighborhoods. The program offers fun science activities right in their backyards, during a season that might otherwise be academically light,” said Dr. Darryl Williams, Senior Vice President of Science and Education at The Franklin Institute. “In STEM, the possibilities are endless with thousands of different interest points, topics, careers, and opportunities. Experiences like this expose children to just a fraction of that, and hopefully trigger a genuine appreciation for science”

Parents and guardians of students entering second through sixth grades in the 2019-2020 school year can register online for the program beginning on May 13, 2019, with Philadelphia County sites opening first. Registration for children in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties will follow consecutively. Space is limited and registrations will be processed in the order they are received. Additional information on program dates, locations outside of the Greater Philadelphia region, and times are available at www.scienceinthesummer.com.

Contact – For interview opportunities, please contact:

  • Evan Berland               
    evan.a.berland@gsk.com                     
    215-751-5497
  • Stefanie Santo             
    ssanto@fi.edu                                      
    215-448-1152           

About GSK

GSK – a science-led global healthcare company with a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, live longer. For further information please visit www.us.gsk.com.

About the Franklin Institute

Located in the heart of Philadelphia, The Franklin Institute is a renowned and innovative leader in the field of science and technology learning, as well as a dynamic center of activity. Pennsylvania’s most visited museum, it is dedicated to creating a passion for learning about science by offering access to hands-on science education. For more information, visit www.fi.edu.