Recent Press

Aspirnaut Science Labs

KIPP Blytheville College Preparatory School’s sixth grade class had their first Aspirnaut lab on Tuesday, September 17. The Aspirnaut program is a partnership that connects Vanderbilt University with rural schools to recruit and develop the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce necessary for the 21st century. One aspect of the program is Aspirnaut Videoconferencing, which means the beaming of inquiry-based hands-on STEM labs from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee taught by STEM undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty via audio/video technology. 

This partnership allows KIPP Blytheville students to interact with and learn from passionate scientists. The Vanderbilt representative leads the experiment, while the KIPP classroom teacher provides hands-on assistance during the lab and calls on students to answer questions. These STEM labs occur weekly and revolve around a scientific theme that continues for several weeks. KIPPsters develop critical thinking and problem solving skills as they discuss the ways that science impacts their lives on a day-to-day basis.

Tuesday’s lab, the first in a year-long series, was titled, “Introduction to Science and Chemistry in a Ziploc Bag.” Students combined phenol red solution with baking soda and anhydrous calcium chloride in a Ziploc bag, then quickly sealed the bag. After following the steps of the experiment and observing the changes caused by the mixed contents, students discussed the chemical reactions with their Vanderbilt instructor. 

As a participant school district, KIPP Delta Public Schools also has the opportunity to send high school students to a pre-college summer program each year. Students spend six weeks working in state-of-the-art labs alongside medical researchers. At the conclusion of the program, students present their research to an audience that includes postdoctoral students and their own parents. KIPP Blytheville’s middle school students also get to visit Vanderbilt University in the summer and participate in the “Aspirnaut Summer Experience.” Last year, Ly Hoang, Diamond Watson, Anaiyah Henderson, and Gregory Robinson (all of the Class of 2019) attended the program with Meghan Brown, their 6th grade science teacher.

KIPP Blytheville currently has 30 more seats available in grades four through eight. Prospective parents are welcome to come get a feel for the school during an open house next Tuesday, September 24, from 8:00-10:00am. Parents can sit in on classes, talk to teachers, and tour the buildings. All are welcome to attend.

About KIPP Delta Public Schools

KIPP Delta Public Schools are tuition-free, open enrollment, public charter schools that accept all students on a space-available basis. Our mission is to empower students from high-poverty communities to develop the knowledge, skills, and character traits necessary to pursue a college education and a life of value, joy, and integrity. For more information, visit

About KIPP

KIPP has grown from two original schools founded by Teach For America alumni Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin to a national network of 109 free, open enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools.  Over 95 percent of students enrolled in KIPP schools are African American or Hispanic/Latino, and more than 80 percent qualify for the federal free and reduced-price meals program. To date, over 85 percent of students who have graduated from KIPP middle schools have matriculated to college. For more information, visit


Sarah Regan, Development Assistant, KIPP Delta Public Schools                          

870-714-1503 or

PDF icon Aspirnaut 2013.pdf

If you are a journalist or a member of the media and have an inquiry, please contact:

Carissa Godwin
Chief of External Affairs