Exposing Baltimore’s High School Students to STEM Opportunities


Every morning, our Building STEPS students board the MTA bus to catch a ride to school; some are chatty, some are tired and some are listening to music with earbuds in place. The difference is today, with Building STEPS, they will visit a college campus and experience a unique science lab, the Carnegie Institution for Science, housed on the grounds of Johns Hopkins University. They’ve heard about the zebrafish at the BioEYES lab from the senior class above them and are anxious to see what they’re all about.

For nearly 10 years, it’s been our privilege to introduce Building STEPS students to the world of life sciences,  and the role zebrafish contribute to research, thanks to the staff at BioEYES and The Carnegie Institution. For Baltimore City students, these opportunities are few and far between, making the BioEYES program that much more appealing and important. Our students are from very challenged, underserved areas of Baltimore’s inner city. Most city students don’t get to experience biology in this type of setting, or for that matter, take fieldtrips to STEM-oriented facilities. At Building STEPS, however, we make it a priority to expose students to these experiences where they can witness STEM in action, with a hands-on activity each month.

We believe that where you come from does not determine where you can go, and a college education changes a person’s life. With a success rate of more than 80% of our graduates earning a college degree, we know we are propelling progress. Building STEPS works with Baltimore’s brightest high school students, most of whom will be the first in their family to graduate from college, to unlock their potential. As a Baltimore based not for profit, we provide a breadth of programming to ensure college completion and career success, all through a STEM lens. We empower students to realize their potential and achieve success.

“BioEYES at the Carnegie Institution for Science is proud to have worked with Building STEPS for the past nine years. BioEYES is all about getting kids excited about science and doing outreach in the community,” said Valerie Butler, Program Manager at BioEYES Baltimore. “We hope that by having the students visit the Carnegie Institution each year and learning about what a geneticist does, it helps demystify science for the students. Conversely, your students might not realize that our scientists get very excited about providing hands-on demonstrations and career advice for them. All in all, this partnership helps us leverage the work we do to provide more opportunities for Baltimore’s young people.”

Needless to say, we are so thankful for our long relationship with BioEYES and The Carnegie Institution. You are helping to stimulate interest in science in an engaging way, creating future scientists and opening students’ minds to the possibilities of science careers. We thank you for that.