Getting involved in your local community is one of the most powerful ways that we can have a positive impact on the future of science. From volunteering in schools or museums, to hosting science cafes, and everything in between, AAAS members are making a difference.

  • June 2, 2014

    Attendance at this year’s AAAS/SSE STEM Volunteer Program Annual Meeting impressed even its most ardent supporters. About 80 people turned up to listen to Heidi Schweingruber, deputy director the National Research Council’s (NRC) Board on Science Education, talk about a two-year study and report published by a combined NAE (National Academy of Engineering)/NRC Committee, entitled “STEM Integration in K-12 Education.” Her presentation was followed by a panel of five STEM volunteers and their teachers talking about their collaborations in the classroom. These five partnerships were a small representation of the 115-strong AAAS/SSE STEM volunteer team who are supporting teachers in the City of Falls Church, Va., and in four counties in the Washington, D.C.-metro area.
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  • May 24, 2014

    This year, AAAS volunteers had a special role to play at the USA Science and Engineering Festival held annually in Washington D.C. The April 26-27 festival, which drew more than 350,000 people, included a phalanx of volunteers who generously donated their time and expertise—including 75 volunteers who assisted at the AAAS activity stations. »

  • March 4, 2014

    New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof sparked ire among academics—including many scientists—when he suggested that academics don't do enough to engage with the public. I don’t think Kristof could have imagined the onslaught of responses that he received from academics, many on social media. »

  • November 14, 2013

    I once taught under a professor named Dean Ballotti. He was interesting because he had a Ph.D. and years of experience in geology, but later went back to school and got a degree in teaching. He instructed his classes to teach with a philosophy that centered around banishing the myths about science from the get-go and to stop teaching that science isn't “dirty.”

    Scientists make mistakes, he reasoned, and there are times when things are held together by whatever is lying around, such as the ubiquitous duct tape. Due to my experiences in the lab, I tended to agree with him. College students should have enough experience to know that sometimes, even when you follow the directions perfectly, the experiments do not come out as you thought they would and that there likely will be variations. While I taught with his philosophy during his university classes, I decided to see how it would fare during my volunteer services this year with kids at Indianapolis Children's Museum.  »

  • August 20, 2013

    Have you ever volunteered at a middle or elementary school science fair? If not, it’s definitely something you should consider. From inspiring young children to enjoy science, to meeting other like-minded volunteers at the event, to putting on exciting science demonstrations for all fairgoers to enjoy, helping out at local science exhibitions is fun and rewarding. »