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.
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.
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.