2022 Year in Review: 11,760 letters exchanged!

Another ‘year in review’ blog post means we’ll share how we finished the 2021-22 school year and how the 2022-23 school year is going! We work with schools to bring students new avenues to learn about STEM careers. Since we work with schools, that means that at the beginning of 2022, we were halfway through the 2021-22 school year. This was the first full school year we returned to facilitating our pen pal program using our snail mail model in all of our LPS classrooms since the spring of 2020, where we sent electronic letters when schools closed and students learned from home. Overwhelmingly, both students and STEM professionals agree that receiving snail mail is much more gratifying and engaging than opening electronic letters. In January 2022, classes resumed following winter break and students were (impatiently) waiting for their second letters to arrive from their STEM professional pen pals. There were a total of 20 teachers facilitating the program for our 850 student pre-scientists.  The second letter opening parties of the school year happened in January and students learned all about how their STEM professional pen pals got to where they are in their STEM career. Our LPS teachers facilitated 3 rounds of letter opening parties from January 2022-June 2022, one in January, March and May. A total of 60 letter opening days occurred filled with tons of excitement!

Keep reading below for a summary of what our pre-scientists and STEM pen pals accomplished from January 2022-June 2022!


  • STEM pen pals sent 1,668 letters
  • Pre-scientists sent 1,632 letters
  • LPS teachers facilitated 40 letter opening parties
Image: 5th grade teacher, Ms. Licata in Baldwin Park, California, hosted all of her 2022 letter opening parties outside!
Two student pre-scientists enjoy reading their letters outside.
Classroom of pre-scientists hold up their letters from STEM pen pals.


  • STEM pen pals sent 603 letters
  • Pre-scientist sent 816 letters
  • LPS teachers facilitated 20 letter opening parties

Image: 8th grade teacher Mr. Gabriel, in Los Angeles, California, facilitated the program for his 160+ students! That means he managed and organized 1,280 pieces of mail! 

We set big goals for our 2022-23 program, and have already accomplished many of them! In the summer, our small team of two grew to three when we welcomed Alexys Long to our tiny but mighty team.  Growing our team enabled us to reach more pre-scientists this year than ever before: 2,000. We’re working with 32 teachers, including 14 teachers who are facilitating the pen pal program for the first time. Our teachers are an incredible group. They teach grades ranging from 5th-12th, and are located across the United States in Alabama, California, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Ohio, and South Carolina. They teach a variety of STEM subjects including science, math, and engineering. What do they have in common? A profound commitment to supporting our pre-scientists to discover new ideas, perspectives, passions about STEM. Between September and December, our 2,000 pre-scientists were matched with STEM professionals they’re writing to for the entire academic year, and they’ve already exchanged three letters.

Keep reading below for a summary of what our pre-scientists and STEM pen pals accomplished from July 2022-December 2022!


  • 2,578 STEM professionals signed up for the program and become ready to be matched with pre-scientists in the 2022-23 school year
  • 2,000 STEM professionals were matched with pre-scientists
  • Pre-scientists sent 1,316 letters

Image: 5th grade pre-scientist in Euclid, Ohio learned he was matched with a STEM pen pal who has similar interests to him! 

Pre-scientists grouped together holding up finished letters.


  • STEM pen pals sent 3,471 letters
  • Pre-scientists sent 2,254 letters
  • LPS teachers facilitated 85 letter opening parties

Image: 5th grade students in Mr. Moore’s classroom proudly show off their finished letters ready to get sent to their STEM pen pals around the world! 

This year has presented an abundance of adversities for schools across the country, including our LPS classrooms. Schools and teachers are now facing the pandemic’s long term effects, which present new challenges, like learning loss and chronic absences (check out this video to hear directly from some of our teachers about what they’re navigating this school year). Our teachers are getting creative, offering more support to students reading and writing their letters, and offering different ways to understand and synthesize content from their STEM pen pals. Despite countless challenges, our LPS teachers are continuing to support their students’ STEM education beyond their curriculum by facilitating connections between our over 2,000 pre-scientists and their STEM pen pals. Pre-scientists are learning about new STEM interests, while also improving their science and STEM literacy in a world where understanding science and STEM innovations seem more important than ever. 

We are proud of our growth in 2022 and we can’t wait to grow our program next year, supporting even more students to explore a future in STEM in the 2023-24 school year.


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