Flagstaff Festival of Science — In-School Science Talks: Connecting Students to Scientists

| November 15, 2022

Courtesy photo.

Article by Marti Canipe, Assistant Professor in NAU’s Department of Teaching and Learning and Member of the Board of Directors

Research has shown that people often have stereotypical views of what a scientist looks like and what they do.  For many people, especially young people this view is of a “mad scientist” with wild eyes, white hair sticking up all over their heads, wearing a lab coat, and holding bubbling flasks.  This person is also almost always male.  In recent years projects like “I Am a Scientist” (https://www.iamascientist.info/) have been working to broaden people’s conceptions not only of what scientists look like, but also what they do. 

 Representation matters and young people can be inspired to pursue STEM careers when they see and interact with people who look like them who are STEM professionals.

In Northern Arizona, the Flagstaff Festival of Science supports a program that matches local STEM professionals with K-12 classrooms. The classroom In- School speaker program allows teachers to request a classroom presentation from a wide variety of STEM professionals who have volunteered their time.  These visits offer K-12 students the opportunity to meet scientists who may work in a lab, but who also work out in field sites and represent a variety of different contexts including corporations, government agencies, non-profits, and educational organizations.  In addition to a broad range of work contexts, these scientists showcase the diversity of people who work in these fields.

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The ultimate goal for the classroom speaker program is to connect STEM professionals with K-12 classrooms and to make those visits something students remember as the day when a cool scientist came to visit their class and hopefully inspire the next generation of STEM professionals.

Today, we are asking you to help us connect students to scientists. Help us ignite the spark that inspires our future scientists by donating toward the In-School Speaker Program.

Giving Tuesday is a great way to make sure your community dollars go straight into the community. It is up to all of us to create opportunities for our youth to see themselves as scientists.  

Help us provide the joy of scientific discovery in our local classrooms.

Make a Donation Today

 

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Category: Education, Educational Opportunities, Programs, Resources

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