Meet Our Brand-New CR3W


Meet Our Brand-New CR3W

By Adventure Science Center

CR3W member George shows potential applicants a propeller engineering activity that members facilitate in the i2 Makerspace.

Adventure Science Center is excited to welcome the new Youth CR3W members of 2024! CR3W is a dynamic youth volunteer program at the science center, committed to shaping tomorrow's leaders and innovators while inspiring a lifelong love for learning, science, and exploration. The program seeks to prepare high school students for a career in STEM by promoting their communication skills, confidence, independence, responsibility, knowledge, and experience in STEM-related fields.

In addition to volunteer work at the science center, CR3W members engage in hands-on project development, collaboration on exhibits, and mentorship from STEM professionals. Participants who meet program expectations & volunteer hours receive stipends at the end of each year, emphasizing the value placed on their commitment and contributions.

CR3W is one of the best things I’ve ever done. I made so many friends, and this program is the only place where I’ve felt like my potential and talents were used and built up...I also went from never using tools to building an exhibit, which helped increase my teamwork skills. Now, I’m at UTK majoring in biomedical engineering, and I have a civil engineering research job.”
- Haylie M, 2023 Youth CR3W Graduate

The 3 E's in CR3W stand for Engage, Explore, and Explain.

  • Engage: Youth CR3W members facilitate science demonstrations and activities, presenting members with unique opportunities to engage with science center visitors and teach kids about science in creative ways.
  • Explore: The program provides a platform for students to explore different careers in STEM by trying out different types of science, opening doors for them to learn from STEM professionals in Nashville.
  • Explain: Central to the program is the development of the ability to explain complex scientific concepts to a wide range of ages.

In November 2023, Youth CR3W held its first Open House. Potential new CR3W applicants attended the open house to hear from current members about their experience in the program. Youth CR3W hosted tables and shared their projects and accomplishments from the past year. Members organized tables explaining their roles in the i2 Makerapce, CR3W committees, Adventure Science Center camps, science demonstrations, and even personal STEM projects from individual members. The open house was an opportunity for our CR3W to polish their science communication skills, and to proudly display the impressive things they’ve been up to here at the science center.

The 2023 CR3W Open House buzzing with excitement minutes after the doors opened.

At this table, CR3W members Gordon, Abigail, and Nora explain to a potential applicant how they teach robotics to kids while volunteering at camps.

After the open house, Youth CR3W applications opened, and we received over 40 applications from teens across the Nashville area. At the group interviews, applicants blew us away with their knowledge of STEM, eagerness to learn, and passion for this program.

CR3W interviewees competing in an icebreaker challenge to build a model of Adventure Science Center using spaghetti sticks and marshmallows.

Following the interview process, twenty-five amazing high school students in 9th  to 11th grade were selected to join Youth CR3W. We kicked off their first year in CR3W by hosting an open house in January 2024, where they learned the ins and outs of the program, went through volunteer training, and met other CR3W members.

New CR3W members Abigail, Zaniya, Mumtoza, and Valary participating in a team-building activity at the orientation.

Youth CR3W is on track to offer the most exciting opportunities the program has seen thus far. We’re especially excited to bring our CR3W members along on STEM field trips this year, where members shadow real careers in STEM, including renowned engineering facilities and lab tours. In our i2 Makerspace, our team is eager to begin mentoring this new CR3W class by teaching them skills like soldering, 3d printing, circuit-building, laser cutting, project planning, and much more. We can’t wait for the CR3W opportunities that are coming this year.

CR3W kids pose with their fellow members after they go through the gowning procedure at Vanderbilt’s VINSE cleanroom. At this field trip, CR3W kids were able to have a q&a session with Vanderbilt engineer Megan Dernberger and learn about her career as an engineer working with nanotechnology at VINSE.

This blog post was written by Lindsey Calhoun, Sr. Experience Planning Coordinator.

Questions about volunteering at Adventure Science Center? Visit our volunteer page for more information.

Special thanks to our Youth CR3W sponsors:




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