Who We are
Our director, Krista Gauthier, has pulled together a myriad of resources to make this program the first of its kind in Northern Virginia.
After School Program
Our program meets on Mondays and Wednesdays after school for 90 minutes.
The session is split into two 45 minutes blocks. Students receive specialized tutoring in a group no larger than 3 students. Our tutors are teachers, education students, and retired professionals looking to gain knowledge in how to tutor dyslexic children and are supervised and trained by our Dyslexic Specialist, Joyce Maryanopolis.
The remaining time is dedicated to STEM exploration. Our curriculum includes both short and long term projects and take place both in and out of the classroom and are facilitated by our director, tutors and volunteers. We are developing hands-on science kits that the students can use to explore micro-biology and biology, chemistry, robotics, genetics, and so much more. In addition, we will create long-term projects that turn our students into Community Science Experts. With the guidance of our tutors and volunteers, our students will take the lead in developing a project that uses STEM skills to help their local community.
In addition to meeting twice a week, we also have Science Saturdays once a month. During these Science Saturdays, students are paired with an adult mentor who works in a STEM field and they participate in field trips to local museums, science centers, and nature centers, work on their long-term projects, or hear a speaker who has dyslexia and is now succeeding in a STEM field.
These Science Saturdays also give us the unique opportunity to create a strong network of parents. While their student is participating in a STEM activity, parents can participate in workshops, receive advice in advocacy, and listen to speakers that can help them understand how to best help their child. This network of support is further enhanced by SDSquared’s presence on social media where we share articles, tips, advice from experts and even STEM experiments and activities they can do at home.
Last year, our Science Saturdays included a tour of the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum conducted by aerospace engineer, Dr. Patrick Biltgen, a visit to Heeling House to do some STEM activities with their therapy dogs, exploring the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, and a day experimenting with catapults with aerospace engineer Dr. Janel Nixon. We have some exciting events already planned for this year! Stay tuned for pictures and updates.