Looking for Ways to Connect to Your Community and Do Good while Staying at Home? SARSEF Can Help.
In uncertain times like these, Arizonans look for ways to do good in the face of adversity. On Giving Tuesday Now (May 5), SARSEF is recognizing their supporters and highlighting the many ways we can all support Arizona’s future critical thinkers and problem solvers through science and engineering – even while we stay at home, no science background required.
In a typical year, the organization’s staff and board would currently be preparing high school students selected as finalists at the SARSEF Science and Engineering Fair to compete at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) originally scheduled to take place in Anaheim, California this month. With the cancellation of ISEF and stay-at-home order in place, SARSEF has had to get creative about how they inspire students to recognize themselves as the incredible scientists and engineers that they are.
For many of us it’s difficult to process the changes happening all around us, and that’s especially true for kids. SARSEF staff developed and implemented new virtual programs that give students a better understanding of how to investigate the many questions they have about COVID-19 and how it’s impacting our families, social lives and environment. By offering ways for the general public to join in and help, we hope that it will inspire in others the same joy and sense of community that we feel when we work with these incredible students. – Liz Bowman, CEO, SARSEF
As a part of their Giving Tuesday Now campaign, SARSEF is highlighting four different ways that the public can get involved.
1. Support students doing research by collecting data for their citizen science projects. What Do You Wonder? A Community of Young Scientists is the first
entirely virtual program offered by SARSEF. Started at the end of March, the program is now in its second session. Students pre-kindergarten through high school join virtual science lab meetings twice a week with students in similar grade levels.
In the first session, the students chose to explore research questions they developed through their curiosity about COVID-19. Are people washing their hands properly? How are people spending their time? How has the stay-at-home order changed our sense of time? The students collected data to answer their questions through citizen scientist projects that community members could easily fill out with no science background.
“I just loved being part of something, feeling like I was doing something cool and important to help with all this COVID-19 thing, it made me feel good,” Clara, a 13-year-old Wonder participant shared.
Starting May 8, the young scientists will need your help collecting data about their research questions. Check our What Do You Wonder website and SARSEF’s social media channels that day to participate.
2. Tell the story of how you use science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Every student needs role models, and you could be the one to inspire a student to find a passion for STEM. SARSEF is looking for professionals who use STEM at work who can talk about the day-to-day of their job and why students should continue to pursue STEM fields. People who use STEM outside their day job are also more than welcome to volunteer for this project. If you are interested in sharing your story, email SARSEF’s Volunteer and Events Manager, Danniey Wright, at firstname.lastname@example.org who will guide you through creating a short video that SARSEF will share with students and the broader education community.
3. Donate what you can to support SARSEF in bringing science to students across Arizona. The SARSEF staff and board are dedicated to ensuring SARSEF continues to inspire students to think critically and solve problems through science and engineering, and they need your help to make that possible. Please consider giving to SARSEF if you are able to make a monetary contribution at this time at sarsef.org/donate. Anyone who makes a donation to SARSEF’s website on Giving Tuesday Now will receive a 20% off discount code for SARSEF’s online store emailed to them the next day.
4. Share SARSEF’s work with others. Even if you don’t have the time or money to give currently, help SARSEF spread the word about their virtual opportunities for students. You can always find SARSEF’s latest and upcoming programs on their social media channels and on their website.
With the closing of schools to slow the spread of COVID-19, students are at risk of missing important academic milestones. Existing academic achievement gaps between middle and low-income students are likely to grow rapidly. With your help, we can keep kids engaged in STEM and build a brighter future together.