Since 2012, Palestinian high school students participating in the Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Program (STEP) have traveled to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum for STEM education programs and peer-to-peer exchange opportunities.
Created by Palestinian non-profit Al-Nayzak in collaboration with Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum curator Martin Collins, STEP challenges students to design solutions to real-world problems for a national science fair. Science fair winners travel to Washington, DC, to display their projects on the National Air and Space Museum floor. While in Washington, STEP students have opportunities to explore and learn from scientists at locations like the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and the University of Maryland College of Engineering.
Working with peer student educators at the Smithsonian, STEP students participate in an international exchange of ideas about STEM opportunities. This unique program demonstrates to students that their interests and skills have value and significance both at home and around the world.