Society for Science & the Public is in the planning process of an outreach program designed to reach elementary and middle school students in the greater Washington, DC area. The pilot program, based on the Broadcom Foundation’s Junior Varsity program, has students work in teams to move through the steps needed to complete a science fair project by using a series of hands-on experiments.
Students will learn how to record and interpret data, develop a hypothesis, chart their results, and produce science project boards through fun activities, such as measuring magnetism, predicting the distance a model car will travel, and creating and testing model parachutes.
For the initial pilot version of the project, SSP plans to select up to four local schools, which will have student cohorts of between 20-30 students.The program will run from October to March, and include a two-day training for teachers this summer. At the end of the program year, participating students will have an opportunity to present their final science fair projects at the Washington DC STEM Science Fair, where they will receive feedback on their projects and learn more about what the science fair judging process is like.
SSP’s goals for the program include getting more local students to participate in science fairs, getting students interested in science earlier, keeping them interested, and ultimately broadening the base of students that participate in our educational competitions and STEM careers in general.
In addition to the Junior Varsity program, SSP plans to offer workshops for both teachers and students throughout the year. These workshops will focus on getting students involved in hands-on scientific research, the science fair process, and more.
If your school is interested in participating, please contact Victor Hall for more information.