Mission: Our vision is to bring science research opportunities to underrepresented groups by sharing our knowledge of STEM with middle school students in our community. With an increased exposure and experience in research, students can develop a passion and take their careers in a direction they never imagined.
In 2016, founders Cynthia and Adishree both attended the Broadcom MASTERS national competition, and we became close friends. From there, we were inspired to give back to our community by sharing our science research knowledge and experience with others. Thus, we founded Opportunity X, a nonprofit organization led by high school students with a common vision to bring research opportunities to underrepresented and low-resource groups.
In 2017, we held our first research workshop at a local library, successfully led our pilot school program at KIPP Heartwood Middle School in San Jose, CA, and reached official 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. In 2018, we expanded our Opportunity X Research Programs to 4 schools in San Jose, holding more than 180 workshops and leading 65 students through the research process. We also initiated branches in Texas, Florida, and Southern California, and grew our team to over 40 volunteers across the nation. In 2019, we organized and held our inaugural Opportunity X Science Fair for underrepresented students from the Bay Area, with more than 100 attendees. In 2020, we inaugurated Opportunity X Virtual Science Research Camp for over 90 students during the Covid19 pandemic. In 2021, we continued to expand our organization to 7 state branches with more than 80 core volunteers. Currently 18 schools are partnering with us and running virtual research programs.
This has been an amazing journey so far and we can't wait to see what's in the future!
What We Do
To increase diversity and representation in research and science fair, we start and lead research programs at middle schools with a high percentage of socioeconomically challenged students. In our programs, we hold weekly research workshops, where we teach our students basic science research concepts, organize fun science experiments, and individually mentor students in conducting their own research projects. Our ultimate goal is to be able to guide students through the entire research process from start to finish. In order to provide all of our programs entirely cost-free to our students, we hold many restaurant and company fundraisers. In addition to our main Northern California branch, we currently lead branches in Texas, Florida, Southern California, Utah, Alabama, Virginia, and Maryland. See a list of all the school programs we've led and currently lead here.
At the end of each year, we hold the Opportunity X Science Fair: a day full of research, guest talks, food, prizes, and more! The 2019 Opportunity X Science Fair was a big success, with 20 students presenting their research projects and over 100 attendees participating.
Starting 2020, we are offering Opportunity X Summer Research Camp for under-resourced students and are also running Virtual Research Programs at our partnering schools.