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ScienceDays is a mentoring program to foster scientific curiosity in elementary school students by engaging them in hands-on learning opportunities beyond the ordinary classroom experience. The program aims to create a national network of enthusiastic high school and college mentors who are dedicated to making a difference in their communities through promoting science education.
Why is the sky blue? How do airplanes fly? What happened to the dinosaurs? All children grow up asking questions about the world around them. Even as adults, many of us still remember the excitement of seeing our first baking soda and vinegar volcano and how proud we were of our first science fair project - a paper mache construction of the solar system or a model of cellular organelles with Styrofoam. Driven by students in high school and college chapters across the nation, ScienceDays mentors aim to help new generation of kids as they discover and explore their natural curiosity in the sciences.
Knowledge of science and technology must be an integral component of basic education; developing a passion for science should not be the intellectual privilege of a small group of students. Our mission is driven by the current state of science education in the United States and the declining interest among youth in the science and technological fields. The Business Roundtable Survey reported that "Just five percent of parents say they would encourage their child to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics." In addition, the science scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in 2004 reported that over two-thirds of fourth graders are below the science proficiency level. While ScienceDays does not aim to-- in any way-- substitute the role of science teachers in elevating the students' level of proficiency, our organization is primarily involved in--instead--changing and improving the students' attitude and vision of science.
In ScienceDays, high school and college volunteers plan and bring fun lessons to elementary school classrooms with the goal of enriching the students' early experiences in science and encouraging them to become the scientists of tomorrow. Whether by illustrating the effects of earthquakes with Jell-O or demonstrating the principles of density with oil and water, ScienceDays volunteers use everyday material to demonstrate scientific phenomena and principles in an interactive and creative manner.
Beyond promoting science, ScienceDays is an effort driven by collaborations among students of all ages. By connecting high school and college students with mutual goals, ScienceDays is propelled by the enthusiasm and ideas of a national network of student leaders making a difference in their communities.
- Lucie Guo
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