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Family Science Nights

Research shows that interactions with STEM professionals can transform kids’ views of science, and positively impact their career aspirations. But most students in the New York area rarely have the opportunity to meet and interact with real scientists. That’s why the Academy created an outreach effort called Family Science Night, which recruits Academy Members, grad students, postdocs, and STEM professionals to spend an evening working with elementary and middle school students and their families by leading interactive, hands-on activities. Family Science Nights are typically held during the summer in underserved communities throughout New York City and last between 90 minutes and 2 hours.

Activities are geared for kids ages 6 to 12 and are science-based but firmly grounded in kid-approved formats, featuring things that fly or pop, for example. Past activities have included creating balloon rockets, paper airplanes, and popsicle stick catapults. These events help parents feel more comfortable with STEM content, and more importantly, allow students to become the experts and to think of themselves as scientists.  

A young woman examines a specimen under a microscope.

I remember doing wacky science experiments with my Dad when I was a kid. Those early memories made me think of science as fun and creative. They led me to proclaim that I wanted to be a scientist. That’s why we created Family Science Nights, for other kids to be inspired by those same early STEM experiences.”
Meghan Groome, PhD
SVP Education

Qualified Family Science Night volunteers are: 

  • Undergraduate or graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, or professionals in a STEM field 
  • Passionate about serving their communities and inspiring curiosity and excitement about STEM topics among students 
  • Located within commuting distance of the New York City metropolitan area 

To host a Family Science Night in your community, or to inquire about upcoming volunteer opportunities, contact education@nyas.org