2017 has been a great year for the Science Booster Club Program. Thanks to the support of our donors, the efforts of our volunteers, and the enthusiasm of our staff, we’ve succeeded in our national expansion. From serving over 50,000 people in Iowa in 2016, we’re scheduled to serve over 120,000 people across ten states in 2017. As you can see in the map below, we are working in a broad, largely connected area stretching from Nebraska to the Eastern seaboard.

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11.14.2017

The National Center for Science Education works to ensure that every student gets the science education they need to become informed and engaged citizens when they grow up. We help teachers cover evolution and climate change accurately and completely, especially in communities where the topics are highly contentious. Our Science Booster Clubs provide community members with an easy way to bring fun and accessible hands-on evolution and climate change activities to public events. We vigilantly monitor any interference in the integrity of science education.

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My advice of the day?

Never pass up a chance to hang out with science teachers!

The occasion was the 2017 awards luncheon of the California Science Teachers Association (CSTA). The National Center for Science Education was being honored with the 2017 Distinguished Contributions Award, for our work supporting the California Science Framework review process, and our help in providing teachers with guidance about how to respond to the Heartland Institute’s mailing of misleading climate propaganda to California teachers. It was awfully nice of CSTA to recognize NCSE since in my view, it’s teachers who deserve the accolades.

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One of the most satisfying components of the NCSE Science Booster Club program is its microgrant program, in which some of the funds raised by the booster clubs are given away to teachers so that they can provide their students with more hands-on science experiences. In my last blog post, I wrote about some of the teachers who received basic measurement equipment through the Fall 2017 SBC microgrant program.

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Puerto Rican residents walk in flooded streets in Condado, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sept. 22, 2017, following Hurricane Maria. Puerto Rico National Guard photo by Sgt. Jose Ahiram Diaz-RamosEvery teacher knows that students take more interest in lessons that relate to things they care about. Well, it’s safe to say that, right now, students in Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, care deeply about hurricanes. And students in California care profoundly about wildfires. That means that teachers—as they carry out their vital and underappreciated work giving students a sense of normalcy—have an opportunity to turn their students’ very real and recent experiences into learning opportunities. At NCSE, we’re hoping to gather anecdotal evidence that teachers are using recent events as a bridge to exploring how scientists evaluate the contributions of climate change to extreme weather and weather-related events. We hope to discover that teachers are finding ways to enhance how they cover climate change in their classrooms—once they can finally get back into them.

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