WYSE LEADers Projects

Fill out this WYSE Leaders Form to indicate interest in these projects for Fall 2021!

ChiS&E provides students in the Chicago Public Schools area with opportunities to grow and expand their knowledge and passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In the elementary grades, the ChiS&E Saturday classes have students and family members working side-by-side on their projects.

WYSE LEADers provide support for the 7th grade Physics & Algebra course, 8th grade Computer Science course, 11th grade Electrical and Computer Engineering course, and 12th grade Data Science. LEADers provide virtual mentoring and small group facilitation four times each semester. Once a semester, the students and their families engage in a day of  activities together.


7th grade Physics and Algebra: Nov 6, 13, & 20 in Chicago (7:15am departure)

8th grade Computer Science with Scratch: Nov 6, 13, & 20 online (10am-12:30pm)

11th grade Electrical and Computer Engineering: Nov 6, 13, 20, Dec 4 in Chicago (7:15am departure)

12th grade Data Science Oct 30, Nov 6, 13, 20, Dec 4 online (9:30am-12:30pm)


Virtual Family Event (7th/8th) Saturday, December 4 (Tentative 9:30am-12:00pm)

DREAAM is a community impact organization serving K-8 girls, boys, and young men in the Champaign, Urbana, and Rantoul communities. DREAAM focuses attention on academic excellence, strengthening well-being and self-esteem, and encouraging positive citizenship. WYSE LEADers provide after-school activities for middle school students during the after-school program based at the First Presbyterian Church of Champaign (Green Bus Route).

Robotics  Tuesdays (11/9, 11/16, 11/23, 11/30, 12/7) 4:00-5:30pm

Girls to Life

Led by The Well Experience in Urbana, Girls to Life works with elementary and middle school age girls to be academically successful and to develop positive self-images. WYSE LEADers and Alpha Omega Epsilon provide once-a-week STEM activities that are culturally responsive and centered on creativity, problem solving, and empowerment. This program is located in the Sunnycrest Shopping Center in Urbana (Green Bus Route).

Electric Art  Thursdays (9/23, 10/14, 10/28, 11/11, 12/2) 4:00-5:00pm

Family STEM Nights and Campus Visits

The Grainger Engineering WYSE program occasionally helps to coordinate family STEM nights and campus visits from school groups and organizations. In 2020-21, WYSE is partnering with DREAAM, the Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center, and Girls2Life to provide monthly IMAGINE Family STEM Nights. Each month focuses on a different engineering major and an issue of access and inclusion. This initiative is funded by a GIANT Grant from the Institute for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access.

WYSE LEADers help to plan and implement STEM activities providing youth and families with opportunities to interact around a variety of engineering and design challenges. Seeking volunteers to help lead STEM activities during IMAGINE Family STEM sessions with each month focusing on different engineering majors to introduce to middle school students & families. Majors to be covered in 2021:

  • Physics
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Agricultural and Biological Engineering
  • Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Chemical Engineering

If you are interested (as individuals or RSOs) in contributing to the activities and materials development for 1 or more of these themed IMAGINE Family STEM events, please complete the Interest Form or email us

Trail Blazer Mentors

Last summer, hundreds of high school students came together online to attend a WYSE summer camp experience. Some of these campers were able to attend camp through a Trail Blazer scholarship. Scholarship recipients were women; BIPOC; LGBTQIA+; students with a disability, or the first in their family to be headed to college. They might also be actively engaged in community impact work or entrepreneurship. Thanks to funding from an IDEA Institute Grass Roots Initiative grant, WYSE will provide ongoing opportunities for these students to build community with one another and with students currently enrolled in engineering.

We are looking for Grainger Engineering’s current Trail Blazers who would be interested in mentoring a small group of high school students as they begin thinking about their pathways to college and career. Trail Blazer mentors will work with a small affinity group of 6-10 students from similar backgrounds and interests throughout the 2021-2022 school year. Connect with them during scheduled community building activity nights (once a month at most) and monitor a Discord channel for your small group.

  • Help to facilitate community building activities and lead small group discussions.
  • Earn service hours to qualify as a WeCU Scholar.
  • Develop leadership and communication skills.

STEM Teaching Assistants at Booker T Washington STEM Academy

Champaign's Booker T Washington STEM Academy serves kindergarten-5th grade students, and is piloting for the first time a weekly Fabulous Friday event to provide project based learning activities for their students, especially in STEM. Sign up to be a STEM mentor, providing helping hands during the activities while also getting to know the students of BTW.

Helping hands needed for the morning session (9am-11am) and for the afternoon session (1pm-3pm) on Fridays. Sign up as an individual or an RSO for one session or for multiple sessions during the semester. All volunteers must be vaccinated as required by the school district, and if you plan to help during multiple Fridays, the school district will ask you to allow a background check.

WYSE will also be planning a set of Engineering Design activities to be implemented early in the Spring semester. If you or your RSO would be interested in supporting this project, please email us a wyse@illinois.edu.

Sign up here for one or more of the above opportunities to volunteer through WYSE.