The Shoulders of Giants, Inc. (TSoG), a Dallas-based nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation, was founded in 2013 on the belief that world-class science education should be available to all students of all ages. Beginning with a passionate PhD developing educational platforms to share with children at libraries, TSoG quickly evolved into a laboratory safe space for high school students to explore technical career paths.
Over the last 9 years, Dr. Foland has been a steady, dependable confidant for his students as they navigated their career paths. Some of the students who first entered the TSoG lab in 2015 as high school students are engineers or scientists themselves now; some are now pursuing medical school or graduate degrees in STEM fields; others have taken pathways into STEM adjacent fields. What this diverse group all share in common is the perspective of The Shoulders of Giants' Mentorship philosophy:
- Practice for the sake of self-improvement, not to compete against others.
- Recognize that hard work and dedication are essential for mastery of any skill.
- Respect the role that scientific achievements play in all aspects of our lives.
- Apply their knowledge and skills to improve the lives of others.
Today, the core of our volunteer base are individuals who have appreciated the mentor role that Dr. Foland filled in their formative years. In turn, they want to serve that same role for others and see the cascading impact continue to future generations.
Prior to the pandemic, STEM achievement gaps for K-12 students were significant. With prolonged school closures and virtual curricula shifts over the 2020/2021 school year, the disparities are now even more glaring. In response, our leadership team is navigating a path to expand in-person STEM experiences that support communities in need through TSoG's cascading impact model of technical mentorship. TSoG is uniquely positioned to reopen a laboratory environment that will serve North Texas communities. With a new environment for students to explore science and engineering fields, we are renewing our commitment to improving access to low-cost or free programming with the goal to make gains in STEM diversity.