Last week, Opportunity X, a nonprofit co-founded by Harker alumni, was awarded the $2,500 STEM Action Grant from the Society for Science, which organizes prestigious competitions such as the Regeneron Science Talent Search and Broadcom MASTERS.
“At Opportunity X, our mission is to bring cost-free science research opportunities to underrepresented and low-resource middle school students across the country via school enrichment programs, summer camps and science fairs,” said rising senior Alice Feng, a co-president of Opportunity X. The funds will be used to help further their efforts in bringing STEM education to underserved communities. The organization is currently staffed by 18 Harker student volunteers and seven Harker alumni as well as students from high schools around the Bay Area.
Opportunity X was founded in 2016 by Cynthia Chen ’20 and Adishree Ghatare, then a student at Saint Francis High School. Since then, the organization has held after-school programs at many area schools, including KIPP Heartwood Middle School, Morrill Middle School and River Glen School. Earlier this year, two programs were held at middle schools in Virginia. To date, the organization has held more than 850 research workshops in 18 schools. They now have branches in seven states, including Texas, Florida, Virginia and Alabama.
In 2019, Opportunity X held its first Science Fair at the Alum Rock Branch Library in San Jose, where students showcased their projects and received trophies for their work. Another Science Fair was held virtually in May of this year and included speakers from NASA, Google and Stanford University.
The STEM Action Grant program provides support to community nonprofit organizations that promotes STEM education to underrepresented communities. This year, Society for Science provided $165,000 in grants to 38 organizations across the country.