The Science & Math Investigative Learning Experiences (SMILE) Program is a university - school partnership between Oregon State University, 11 Oregon school districts and 4 charter schools. This school year, more than 700 elementary, middle, high school students, and roughly 60 teachers in 35 schools will participate in SMILE Club activities.
The purpose of the SMILE Program is to increase the number of underrepresented and educationally underserved students that graduate from high school qualified to enroll in college and pursue careers related to science, math, health, engineering, and education careers.
In 1988, the partnership began providing afterschool SMILE Clubs for 80 underrepresented and educationally underserved students in four middle schools. Since then, the program reach has increased by adding partnerships with school districts in areas that are poor, largely rural, and educationally under-served with significant numbers of American Indian and Hispanic students.
This past year, SMILE completed 25 years of service, and was honored as a Together for Tomorrow Challege winner by the U.S. Department of Education and the Corporation for National and Community Service. Our program was also featured in Life@OSU: SMILE gives students confidence, boosts STEM skills and the National Science Teachers Association Reports: Connecting K–12 STEM to College, After School.