Growing leaders and transforming the voices of science

Leadership is not restricted to a given age. It is an activity, a performance, that can be learned and grown. This is a core principle of the workshops and coaching offered by Dr. Raquell Holmes, who created improvscience to develop and support leaders throughout the scientific enterprise. Thus, it's no surprise that the attention to leadership provided in the DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellows in improvscience's infancy, is now given to leadership and inclusion in the educational initiative of Arizona Technical Council.

Dr. Holmes will bring improvscience to the Chief Science Officer Summer Training Institute, a program of the Arizona Technology Council Foundation. The program supports students to become leaders in STEM advocacy and culture as Chief Science Officers (CSO) at their schools. As the students create what it means to be a CSO, Holmes will help them, through improvisational performance, skits and play, to bring their voices to what they are building with each other.

The CSO program is designed to support students developing as leaders in their communities. The program recognizes that access to science opportunities is a community endeavor. It requires partnerships among all involved: youth, teachers, local business leaders and legislation. The program mission echoes much of what Holmes leads as Chair of STEM at the All Stars UX project—both are out-of-school programs that partner with business and educators to create growth opportunities for youth and adults. 

This summer, Holmes will guide returning middle and high school CSOs to develop their collaborative voice and leadership sensibilities. As the returning CSOs create the presentations needed to teach the next wave of CSOs, they experience the power of their voices and stories and the creation of an inclusive culture in science in which all CSO experiences are valued and celebrated.

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