The society for science has done far more for science teachers and science programs around the country than any other non-profit I know. They administer science research competitions (STS, ISEF) for high school students, which are motivating students. These high school students are often working at college and graduate levels, producing excellent quality papers. They are providing students and teachers with incredibly useful resources, such as Science News, a magazine designed specifically for middle/high school students and their teachers. They are providing workshops and training sessions for teachers, and grants to help school districts develop their science programs. I cannot say enough how valuable the Society for Science and the Public is for science education in this country.
The Society for Science provides excellent support for independent STEM research in the form of the International Science and Engineering Fair as well as the BROADCOM Masters program, to name just a few. Without the Society for Science, thousands of students each year would not be able to share their science research with the entire globe, thus promoting one of the few globally active student collaborations on the planet.
In 1979, I was one of the top 40 winners in the Westinghouse competition, run by SSP. I had been motivated to enter when I learned that an earlier student of my mentor at University of Maryland had made the top 40. Participation in the competition changed my life.
Making the top 40 was affirming, but what really made the big difference was being motivated to enter the competition in the first place. The research I did (in astronomy) gave me a direction and a chance to excel. My project probably got me into MIT and Caltech (I went to MIT).
My experience made me a life-long believer in engaging youngsters in science. I volunteer in local science fairs every year as a judge, and encouraged both of my children to enter (my youngest went to ISTEF). At MIT I routinely hired undergraduates with science fair backgrounds, because these were individuals who had the motivation to take a project from start to finish.
If you want to have hope for the future, all you have to do is go meet with the students participating in SSP events.
I was a Broadcom Master which is a program run by SSP. It was really life-changing and I made a lot of new friends across the country. SSP has really inspired me to look forward to working in STEM related careers in the future. Thanks SSP for all you have done!
When I was in high school, I was a promising student - passionate about the sciences - who came from very challenging circumstances. My mother was mentally ill and my father had only a fifth grade education. I was the fourth of five children, so they never could have afforded to send me to college, much less help me through the process of applying and choosing. A teacher at my public high school suggested I apply for a summer research scholarship, which I won and completed. Another teacher suggested I enter my work from that experience in what was then the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, which was administered by this nonprofit. I placed in the top ten winners, which came with a four year college scholarship to the school of my choice. Because I won this competition, I was invted to attend schools to which I had and had never applied, all on nearly full scholarship. I graduated from a highly competitive university with degrees in engineering and less than $1000 in college debt, thanks to this nonprofit. I practiced as an engineer for many years and then decided to enter the field of K-12 education in order help other students who come from challenging circumstances change their lives with science education. I earned a Ph.D. in science education and have led several foundation and government funded science and engineering education projects for underserved and disadvantaged K-12 students. I can say with complete confidence that my life would have been quite different if not for the opportunities afforded me by the Westinghouse Science Talent Search and this nonprofit. I work to change the lives of other students because this nonprofit changed mine.
I was given the chance to showcase my high school research over the years because of the tremendous work this group does to put on the Intel ISEF and Intel STS competitions. Because of my participation, I made new friends, helped pay for college, and ultimately decided my career goal and college major. After winning a few major scholarships from ISEF, I was brought into contact with the school I am currently attending, Drexel. This changed my entire plan for undergraduate study and also paid for my attendance. I would not be where I am today, with the friends I have, without the Society for Science and the Public.
SSP understands the critical performance of getting young people involved in research. We are producing too many people with a superficial understanding of science, who ultimately find careers as bartenders etc. Research is the key to the new science that the USA needs and the world needs.
I was a participant in the Intel STS and I can honestly say I would not be where I am today had it not been for SSP.
I was a participant in several programs run by the Society for Science & the Public, and I can honestly say that they were life changing. I had always been interested in science but always felt that I didn't have the skill or talent to pursue my dreams. SSP gave the opportunity to travel the world and meet other students with my similar interests. I was constantly finding role models and being motivated by the famous scientists I got to meet through SSP. ISEF and STS, the programs I was involved in, impressed upon me how important it was to pursue my science research dreams. I found the best community of scholars and thinkers I have ever met, and their recognition of me gave me the funds to attend college. Without the SSP, I would not be who I am today - a successful student and scientist, working at the best universities in the world.
I've faithfully read Science News for almost 20 years now, and there's just no other magazine like it in the industry. It doesn't "dumb down" research summaries. At the same time, the language and explanation are very understandable even to a layperson. (I am a professional without a medical degree, but who works in the medical industry.)
I was so happy when the journal moved on-line. I hope this group continues to provide public information for many years to come!
Provides clear elucidation of current topics in all branches of science.
I cannot begin to share all the outcomes that the Society for Science and the Public has directly contribute to in our small rural school! Four years ago, I applied for the SSP Fellows Program and to my amazement, I was fortunate to be selected. I am a 36-year teaching veteran, and I can honestly say that this is the best program for advancing student research in rural and inner city schools in the country! The SSP gave me the training and the financial resources to develop a strong research program in my school. This was no easy undertaking, but the rewards have been many. The total student population is less than 250 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. We are not only one of the smallest districts in the state, we are one of the poorest districts in the state. After a four year investment in the program, you may ask what is there to show that the money was well spent? The students have been quite successful over the past four years. They have won top awards at the local, state, regional, national and international levels. Last year one student, Brittany King, was selected as one of the top four Agriscience Research students in the nation. Another student, Dylan Lyle, received a first place at the International Sustainable Environment, Energy and Engineering Olympiad(ISWEEEP) in Houston, Texas. This year we had the top two projects in the state of Missouri at the Missouri Junior Academy of Science, Tara Humphreys and Ashley Wyrick! In addition, two students have advanced to ISWEEEP in Houston (Ross Sparrow and Ashley Wyrick), and just yesterday another student, Sara Abbett, was notified that she was the state finalist for Missouri for the Stockholm Junior Water Prize and will be competing in Portland, Oregon in June. Next week, our students compete in the Missouri Agriscience Fair with their research, and we will then know who will be advancing to the National FFA Agriscience Fair. Last year four students from our program advanced. More important than doing well in the competitions is the confidence that the students have gained in the program. All of the students that have participated in the program have gone on to college and their success continues at that level. Several are in undergraduate research programs. One is already working part time in a federal research facility. All this would not have been possible without the support of the Society for Science and the Public. The fellowship grant ends this year, but the program will continue for many years to come. We are forever grateful!!!
Tuscumbia High School
I work with rural students in one of the poorest counties in Missouri. Our school population (K-12)is around 290 students. The SSP provided training for me to start an independent science research program for my students. In addition, as part of the SSP Fellows Program, my students had the funds to conduct authentic research. This past year one of my students competed at the National FFA Agriscience Fair and won top honors in the zoology category. We had never had that kind of success before. The same student is now employed at a national environmental science research laboratory while attending college this year. The support of the SSP has been invaluable and I am so grateful for the organization's involvement in underserved students!
This is an update to my 2010 review. I just completed my first year as an SSP Teacher Fellow. Because of the grant I received more students than ever before participated in science and engineering activities, and won more awards than ever. I also got to take a group of observers to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for the first time in the 50+ year history of the fair. It had a huge impact on the school. I also grew in my professionalism as a teacher.
I got to know this organization in 2006 when one of my students won our local science fair and went to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. I was able to attend ISEF 2 more times and was very impressed by what I saw. I learned as least as much as a teacher as my student did during the competitions. I found out about other programs such as Science Talent Search and got my students in that too. The website and science fair materials are a huge help in getting my students prepared for competitions. I use Science News in my classroom, not just for the news articles but to teach my students how to write. Last year I found out about the Intel Teacher Fellows program. When my students read the ad for it they told me that "this sounds like you, you have to go for this", the same words I've often used to encourage them to get into competitions. So I took my own advice and applied. This year I was named an Intel Teacher Fellow. The level of resources I now have for my students has taken a quantum leap. I know that SSP has been around for several decades, so I hope it's around fro a lot longer, and my relationship with them grows.
I have been a regional fair director for 14 years and have attended the Intel ISEF for 8 years. Every year I am amazed anew at what a wonderful experience this is for high school students. I love to take students to ISEF for the first time and see their jaws drop when they walk into the exhibit hall! They get SO excited about the Opening Ceremony when they realize that they are the stars of this show. SSP make sure that the students know that THEY are the important ones for this week and treat them accordingly. In addition, SSP provides multiple opportunities for the students to meet other students from all over the country and the world. Many of the friendships that are created during the week are lasting and may even lead to future collaboration on projects "in the real world". But SSP doesn't stop there. The Intel ISEF also gives teachers, parents and fair directors to learn and share ideas. As a fair director, I have make invaluable contacts over the years which have enabled me to greatly improve the running of my own fair. The staff at SSP is very professional and help support the regional fairs in a myriad of ways, including giving us the answers to hundreds of questions in a very timely fashion. We have also had many students involved with the SSP Middle School Program & previously, the DCYSC. This is an incredible program designed for middle school students and is the only one of its kind. I was delighted to see that this program is being brought back this year. There is no place else where middle school students can advance to a national competition based on their science project. Much thanks to SSP for all it does for students and teachers.
As a participant in several of SSP's programs, including the Intel Science Talent Search and the ISEF, I can personally attest to the degree SSP programs have influenced the lives of its participants, including myself. The STS and ISEF provided me with opportunities to meet and spend time with many other students who were also passionate about science - many of these acquaintances have evolved into close friends I know I will keep in contact with for a lifetime. I learned so much through participating in these programs, and also deepened my own interest in scientific research while interacting with other students, government officials, and even Nobel Prize winners. These science programs are also inspiring to the public; I heard numerous parents and visitors to the ISEF and STS project exhibition halls express that the intellectually enthusiastic atmosphere was infectious. Not only does SSP have a wonderful goal of spreading interest and excitement in scientific research to students from all backgrounds, but the success of its programs show that this goal is actually being realized. All the SSP programs I have attended have been a perfect mix of professionalism, energy, and excitement. They are impeccably run, and it's clear that the SSP staff really cares about the students' experiences. I will always be grateful to the SSP for the amazing opportunities it gave me during my high school years.
The Society for Science and the Public Fellowship I received has transformed my classroom. The six subjects I teach now have a research basis along with the required academic material. I have improved the quality of scientific research in my classroom thanks to what I learned through the SSP Summer Institute. Not only do we now have a student research group that meets after school to work on projects, but we also have a junior high and high school robotics team for the second year. I teach at a rural pre-K through 12th school with less than 300 students. Without the assistance of SSP, these opportunities would not be possible for my students. The goal of this fellowship is to promote student research and to provide opportunities for students to collaborate with science mentors in either academia or industry. My students have attended classes and workshops at universities specifically to improve their science content, develop research projects, and learn robotics, all through the generosity of my SSP fellowship. I have had students make it to the State Science and Engineering Fair during my first year as a SSP fellow and plan on having students reach the Intel ISEF within the next year! As a fellow, I had the opportunity of attending the Intel ISEF and Intel Educator Academy in 2010. What an awesome experience for me as an observing teacher. I can't wait until I have a student who is part of this wonderful opportunity. Thank you SSP and Intel for all you do for students and science!
SSP Fellows program has changed not only the lives of my students, but has given a community something to be proud of. The Fellows program provides training, financial resources, and mentoring to committed teachers willing to start independent scientific research programs in their under served schools. This program has enabled our school (having the highest poverty rate in our state, 91%) to go from having zero students competing in science competitions to Regional Science Fair Small School of the Year. We had students compete in State and International competitions because of the support of SSP. The direct and immediate impact of the training and funds shows the outstanding success of this program by SSP.
The opportunities that I have been given as a direct result of the Society For Science & The Public are countless and immeasurable. I honestly do not know where I would be today if it were not for their annual International Science and Engineering Fair. On top of being the absolute cornerstone of my resume for everything from precollegiate programs, to college applications, to now medical school applications; just mentioning that I participated in the event has opened so many doors for me. As a direct result, I was granted two full-time paid internships by NOAA and offered a $50,000 scholarship to college (among others indirectly). Had it not been for the hard work that they do in putting on this event year in and year out, I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today. I am forever in debt to their dedication and I know that I will respect all the volunteers and workers who organize the whole event and who run SFS&TP;for the rest of my life.
This wonderful organization provided me with a grant as an SSP Fellow to set up a course dedicated to teaching Science research. The amazing training at the SSP Institute and continuous contact and support to ensure goals are met have helped me stay focused and organized, as well as energized! SSP is benefitting students and touching their lives by opening doors and opportunities for success and discovery! I am a HUGE fan! SSP gets a STANDING OVATION!!
The Society for Science and the public is currently supporting my student research program at a rural school with a 100% Native American student population. As a teacher they have given me training and financial resources as well as ongoing mentoring support to better meet the needs of my students. The SSP Fellowship program is allowing me to do the things that I have only dreamed about doing in the science classroom due to the limited resources available in schools today. My teaching practices and my students will forever be positively impacted due to the support of SSP.
I was inducted as a Fellow into the Society for Science and the Public (SSP) in 2009. As a Fellow, I received a generous 4-year renewable grant to facilitate research opportunities for my students. Equally important, I have access to continual support, mentoring and encouragement as I tackle the multiple challenges of involving my students in scientific research. SSP provided an invaluable week-long workshop at the beginning of the Fellowship, and followed up with a constant flow of information and networking opportunities. Our initial concentration on salt marsh investigations has grown and evolved to include many projects including a solar energy investigation. My students placed first and second at the regional Young Science Achievers competition and have just received notice that the marsh research was accepted for presentation at the annual conference of Geologic Society of America in November.