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Advocate Grant Program

STEM mentor? Apply to our Advocate Grant Program

10:00AM, February 21, 2017
Doing Science

Are you a STEM mentor? Apply to our Advocate Grant Program by February 26.

Society for Science & the Public's Advocate Grant Program provides a stipend to an individual (teacher, counselor, mentor), who agrees to serve as an advocate for 3-5 underrepresented students to transition them from conducting a scientific or engineering research project to completing applications to scientific competition(s).

Read Elizabeth Proctor's, an Advocate in Monticello, Georgia, guest blog post to learn more about the collaborative program and network of other science research teachers, and to find out about the nighttime tree climb she took her students on with funding from the program.


Elizabeth's students climbed trees at night and used black lights to observe fluorescing lichens.

Our first trip was a nighttime tree climb. We donned climbing gear, helmets, and with black lights in hand we explored the canopy and observed the array of colors emitted by various fluorescing lichens. [My] students quickly mastered limb walking, swinging, and the bat descent.


Apply to our Advocate Grant Program


After climbing, the students used their black lights to search for more fluorescing organisms, and they were not disappointed. Surprisingly, many organisms fluoresce, even an armadillo carcass.

Our next adventure involved another type of safety gear — a biohazard suit. At the end of the tour at the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia, students had fun pretending to prepare for level 4 lab work.

Having access to a network of other Advocates and Society staff is powerful.

Elizabeth's students donned biohazard suits at the CDC in Atlanta.

Truly, having access to a network of other Advocates and Society staff is a powerful option. Impromptu updates and scheduled connections between Advocates is a regular occurrence. Scheduled calls include progress updates and sharing obstacles and successes.

This platform for collaboration always inspires me to do more.

This platform for collaboration always inspires me to do more and the funding is a great bonus. With funding from the Advocate Grant Program, we have team shirts, pizza money, a surplus of tri-boards, and the opportunity to travel.

Elizabeth helps her students with a lab experiment.

Winning the local fair was as easy as falling off a log considering we had no other projects to compete against.  However, qualifying for the regional science fair was an adventure. What is an SRC? IRB? Risk Assessment Form 3? Qualified Scientist Form? Being a member of the Society's Advocate Grant Program takes all the fun out of stumbling through the mysteries of the science fair.

Our most important adventure awaits. All students in the Advocate Grant Program advanced from the regional fair and qualified for the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair. The Advocate funding was very helpful for registration fees and lodging. 

The expense associated with this level of competition would be daunting without the support of the Advocate Grant Program.

The expense associated with this level of competition would be daunting without the support of the Advocate Grant Program. Through networking and funding, my students were without the typical obstacles that are associated with a rural impoverished area — obstacles that keep students on the sidelines and without options.

Students work on their hovercraft project.My students completed the biggest project they have ever attempted in their life and they found success. True success. Success that was earned through sweat and tears.

Our first trip (with funding from the Advocate Grant Program) was a nighttime tree climb.

You may think this statement an exaggeration but I promise it is not. Try calculating the titrated molecular mass of aspirin, genetically modifying a brine shrimp, determining the chemotaxis of C. elegans, gram staining, determining the percent difference of the effectiveness of disinfectants, regenerating worm fragments, monitoring water bears, or using primers to amplify novel genetic fungal codes. Although these experiments are not big game changers, they were true challenges for my students. They designed their own experiments and collected data. Often collecting the wrong data.

The major discoveries and lessons gained were not the original intent of the projects. The accidental discoveries were the most powerful medicine (pun intended).

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7:00am, February 7, 2017

Cleaning up oil spills is an intensive, dirty job. One middle school student wanted to find the most efficient and sustainable cleaning method for oil spills.

Nathan Deng, a 2016 Broadcom MASTERS top winner, washes dishes at home and noticed that both dishwashing and oil spills require surfactant chemicals. Surfactants grab onto grease to help water wash it away. They break up the surface tension of a liquid, disintegrating big drops. Some of these chemicals are toxic to ecosystems when mixed with oily compounds, like an oil spill.

Nathan Deng explains his project to a judge at the Science and Engineering Project Showcase.
7:00am, February 3, 2017

Dennis Drewnik, a college freshman, got to attend the week-long Nobel Prize festivities in Stockholm, Sweden through the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar (SIYSS), along with 25 other bright young scientists.

Dennis (left) with other SIYSS participants in Sweden.
7:00am, January 30, 2017

Science is an international language. And three Intel ISEF 2016 finalists witnessed this first-hand when they traveled across the world to India last month to visit the country's national science fair. Natalie Bush, Jiwoo Lee, and Edward Kim Sanyoong met their international science fair peers, visited universities and laboratories, and enjoyed a "life-changing trip."

Read on to hear more about their experience.

7:00am, January 27, 2017

By Ashley Yeager

When we stare up at the night sky, we see shimmering stars, fuzzy galaxies and faint clouds of gas and dust. It is what we cannot see, however, that will forever remind us of astronomer Vera Rubin. Rubin is best known for confirming the existence of dark matter and, along the way, serving as an advocate for women in science and an inspiration to those who wanted to become scientists. She died on December 25, 2016. She was 88.

Vera Rubin was a passionate astronomer who confirmed the existence of dark matter.
12:00pm, January 24, 2017

Teen scientists are creating a machine learning tool that can detect small cell lung cancer, a biodegradable battery for transient electronics, and a computational model that demonstrates the effect of carbon tax policies on the global agricultural economy. These young scientists are part of the 40 finalists in the Regeneron 2017 Science Talent Search (STS).

7:00am, January 12, 2017

The first in Science News for Students' Eureka! Lab video series is now live. The video and three accompanying blog posts show how to set up your own snotty experiment, and provide ideas for further mucus research.

Find the blog posts here:

7:00am, January 10, 2017

Anarghya Vardhana first got into virtual reality by throwing boxes at her sister using an Oculus developer kit. She's moved on from that to venture capital for technology.

STEM, she says, is a way to bend the rules and create new ones.

4:07pm, January 4, 2017

These young scientists are starting off the year right. Fourteen Society alumni were named to the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

Consumer Tech

Kai Kloepfer (Intel ISEF 2013 finalist)
Founder, Biofire Technologies

Geoffrey Woo (Intel ISEF 2005-2006 finalist; Intel STS 2007 semifinalist)
Co-founder, Nootrobox

9:15am, January 4, 2017

Three hundred high school seniors were named scholars in the 2017 Regeneron Science Talent Search, a program founded and produced by Society for Science & the Public.

Head here to view the full list of scholars, coming from 182 high schools in 36 states and three American and international high schools oversees.

The top winners of the 2016 Science Talent Search on stage.
10:57am, December 28, 2016

We are excited to announce that the Society for Science & the Public has been given the opportunity to participate in a prestigious matching gift program sponsored by the Knight Foundation. Science News has been chosen by the Knight Foundation to participate in their #NewsMatch program aimed at supporting quality, trustworthy, in-depth journalism.

Science News Knight Foundation News Match
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