Led by a team of engineers with support by CIS-SA Site Coordinators, we provide real-world STEM programming for at-risk youth that inspires and prepares students for STEM career pathways. Contact us at stem@cissa.org to learn more.

During the 2018 – 2019 school year, we served 41 K-12 campuses in San Antonio and reached over 10,200 students, teachers, and families through campus-based STEM programming including:

  • STEM Family Events
  • STEM Out-of-School Time Programming
  • City-wide Space Colony Competition
  • STEM Curriculum & Professional Development 

STEM Department Overview

Highlights video by CIS Space Club students at Kingsborough Middle School.

Engage your whole school with hands-on academic activities for students and families to explore together at a family event on your campus! CIS STEM offers ready to go STEM and STEAM kits aligned to classroom standards and guaranteed to build interest and awareness of STEM! Each activity has a real-world STEM career connection and covers topics such as: biology, chemistry, aerospace, engineering design, technology, art, robotics, mechanics, and math.

In 2018 – 2019, CIS STEM hosted 32 campus-based STEM Family Nights serving over 7,000 participants! Contact stem@cissa.org to:

  • Host a STEM Family Event at your campus
  • Volunteer to support a STEM station
  • Sponsor a STEM Family event

Click here for a STEM Family Night Overview.

The ultimate real-world STEM project: design a Mars, Moon, or orbital space colony! Student teams need to apply the engineering design process to design and build a 3D model. Students not only learn science and engineering concepts, but they design solutions on government, mental health, power, communication, entertainment, and all the various systems involved in keeping humans alive and happy. CIS STEM provides team sponsors with a full project guide, training, and curriculum to take students through research, design, planning, and building phases. CIS STEM hosts the city-wide STEM competition at Palo Alto College where STEM professionals judge models on engineering, architecture, and mental health components.

Open to any 6th -8th grade team in Bexar County! Registration opening in June for 2019-2020 season. Email stem@cissa.org to receive a notification.

Check out the 2018-2019 Space Colony Competition highlights. 

Through project-based, TEKS-aligned engineering design challenges, students are transformed into a team of astronauts on a journey to Mars. Each unit includes STEM career and real-world connections. Examples of activities: launching rockets, designing a landing device, and creating a personal mission patch that connects student interests to a STEM career.

CIS STEM staff are available to train K-8th grade educators to implement Launchpad at their campus. Click here to learn more.

Space Club is a weekly, year-long STEM afterschool program led by a team of engineers, science teachers, CIS Site Coordinators, and STEM professional mentors. Students build a foundation of STEM skills through engineering design challenges building up to a rigorous design competition. Since 2014, over 800 students have participated across five middle schools.

Click here for Space Club Overview.

CIS STEM Program Reach: 

  • Harlandale ISD Space Club: 307
  • STEM Family Night Events: 30
  • STEM Family Night Reach: 4,548
  • Launchpad STEM Group: 402

Space Club Demographics

  • 47% Female
  • 98% Hispanic
  • 90% Free & Reduced Lunch

Space Club Student Outcomes: 

  • 64% of Space Club 8th graders accepted to HISD STEM Early College High School compared to 13% of all 8th graders
  • 72% of 8th graders exceeded their individual Math STAAR progress target compared to 15% in the district
  • 77% of participants describe a STEM career as their ideal job
  • 90% of parents reported an increase in their child’s interest in science, math, and engineering subjects

Click here for CIS-SA STEM Outcomes Report

Thank you for your interest in supporting a STEM Program! Read below to learn more about different volunteer opportunities.  

Weekly Mentoring: Space Club

Middle school students meet weekly to learn about space exploration and engage in engineering projects including: rocketry, 3D printing, weather balloon, and lunar colony design. No prior teaching or STEM experience required.

Weekly meetings from 4:00 – 6:00 PM

One-Time Volunteer: STEM Family Nights

One-time volunteers can support STEM Family Nights at elementary and middle schools across San Antonio. Volunteers will guide students through hands-on STEM activities at various stations throughout the school.

One-time Volunteering: Career Speaker

Guest speakers are always welcome to address groups of students on various STEM career opportunities. Arrangements can be made for targeted grade levels and district.

For more information on these opportunities, contact Natasha Wilkerson at nwilkerson@cissa.org. 

Natasha Wilkerson, STEM Director

Natasha Wilkerson joined CIS-SA in June 2014. As the CIS-SA STEM Director, she collaborates with school districts to expand STEM programming and impact through curriculum development, program implementation, STEM trainings, and school-wide family events. Natasha founded Space Club, a STEM enrichment program currently in the fourth year at Harlandale ISD. She has trained 70 CIS Site Coordinators to implement STEM curriculum and host family nights in 50 schools across 8 districts in Bexar Country. Prior to CIS-SA, Natasha worked as an engineer for the Department of Defense including nanomaterials research, Navy radar electromagnetic interference testing, and satellite spectrum management.  Natasha has a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M University and is pursuing a graduate degree in STEM education.

Aspen Meineke, STEM Project Coordinator

Aspen Meineke joined CIS-SA in October 2016 as a part-time STEM Instructor for Space Club. In January, she was promoted to STEM Project Coordinator, where she facilitates Space Club at four middle schools in Harlandale ISD. Her responsibilities include instruction, volunteer management, and program logistics. She also supports curriculum development, outreach events, and STEM trainings. Prior to joining CIS-SA, Aspen worked as a STEM instructor for UTSA’s Jump Start, Math Boot Camp, and iTEC STEM summer programs . Aspen has undergraduate research experience in the fields of biochemistry and robotics including developing a rimless rover for Mars exploration. Aspen has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas in San Antonio.

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