2019-2020 CALENDAR

August 21-22, 2019New Teachers’ Professional Development Workshop
Teachers’ Professional Development Workshop
Curricula Dissemination
SeptemberWeekly club meetings begin, all levels
December 3, 2019Teachers’ Professional Development Workshop
STEM Curricula Dissemination
Special events preview and planning
March 20-21, 2020Middle School Engineering Challenge Weekend at URI
March 27-28, 2020High School Engineering Challenge Weekend at URI
April 3-4, 2020
April 9, 2020
Elementary Outdoor Science Adventure (EOSA) at Alton Jones (5th grade) 
Ecology Field Day at URI (4th grade)
May 19, 2020Teachers’ Professional Development Workshop
Curriculum reflection

Teachers’ Professional Development

Professional development workshops are the foundation of the program structure.  SMILE provides continuous support to the club teachers through professional development workshops, networking, curriculum materials, and equipment. Workshops are conducted three times a year, are led by URI resource faculty and SMILE professional staff.  The workshops provide: hands-on science and math activities, scientific knowledge and curriculum, techniques for integrating math and science, culturally appropriate techniques, computers and technology training.

Weekly Club Meetings

All activities and events revolve around the weekly after school club meetings that take place in each school. Club meetings last 1.5-2 hours and provide fun, STEM activities in a relaxed atmosphere. In each school, the SMILE club has a year round schedule of activities that focus on:

  • Hands-on and engaging STEM-based projects
  • Scientific and career exploration field trips
  • College awareness

District-Wide Family Science Nights

Family Science Nights bring together SMILE students, their families, and community members. Students demonstrate interactive science activities. The Family Science Night is a wonderful expression of interest and support by parents and community members. Parents have the opportunity to get more involved in their children’s education, and see them as competent learners. The children’s self esteem soars!


4th Grade Ecology Field Day

Fourth grade SMILE students arrive at the University of Rhode Island as tiny fish in a big sea of buildings and college students one day each spring.  They come to campus to learn about ecology concepts and ecology-based careers, tour the campus, eat in the dining hall, learn about what it takes to go to college, and participate in hands-on outdoor activities.

Undergraduate and graduate students teach students about horticulture, marine science, herpetology, and wetland science to give them a taste of what it is like to be an ecologist for the day!

Elementary Outdoor Science Adventure (5th Grade)

This is a two to three day adventure at URI Alton Jones Campus for 5th grade elementary students that focuses on environmental science. Every year, URI offers a Spring course for 15 college students interested in mentoring and teaching science. They develop activities for elementary students that integrate science and math and develop an appreciation for the natural environment. During the weekend, these college students act as teachers, counselors, and mentors and stay at Alton Jones with the elementary SMILE students.

Here is a MAP of Alton Jones

Middle School Engineering Challenge Weekend 

The Engineering Challenge Weekend brings together middle school students and teachers from all the participating school districts at the University of Rhode Island. The students work in teams with URI student and faculty mentors as well as volunteers from local corporations to design, build and test an engineering project.   Students also tour the campus, visit labs, and learn about college admission procedures and financial aid availability.

2009 Middle School Challenge on YouTube

High School Engineering Challenge Weekend

This is a two-day overnight experience of science exploration and problem solving held at the URI Kingston campus. Students work in teams to master real life science problems using scientific principles. They are guided by student, scientist, and professional mentors who help them develop new skills, identify the problem, collect and analyze data, and create an effective presentation. Students also tour the URI campus and learn about college admissions.