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The mission of the Science Outreach Center at SFU is to develop relevant, effective, and systemic efforts to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in the community; increase the number of students pursuing an education in STEM fields; and support K-12 schools and their students in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Kids' College @ SFU
Francis University's summer camps, Kids’
College, are designed for school children in grades 1 through 10. These
camps introduce children to several branches of science: astronomy, biology,
chemistry, environmental engineering, physics and more! In each camp, children
become scientists who critically observe the surrounding environment, pose
scientific questions, conduct experiments, collect and analyze data, and draw
their own conclusions. Each camp includes daily (weather permitting) outside
activities: field trips, short hikes, games, and physical exercises.
Primary Audience: Students entering grades 1 to 10
Learn More about Kids' College
STEAM Summer Academies
Francis University's STEAM Summer Academies are week-long programs designed to
provide an opportunity for talented high school students between their
sophomore/junior and junior/senior years to experience science, technology, engineering, arts, or mathematics in action.
Primary Audience: Students entering 11th or 12th grades.
Learn More about STEAM Summer Academies
The B-WET Watershed NOAA Chesapeake Bay Watershed and Training program facilitates the development of meaningful watershed educational experiences (MWEEs) with teachers through integrative curriculum units. The program consists of Professional Development Watershed Institute for teachers, curriculum development,
school visits, and one-day workshops throughout the year and a student competition at the Regional Watershed Festival in spring.
Primary Audience: Current grant partners include teachers and students from Bedford Area, Chestnut Ridge, Harmony Area, and Hollidaysburg Area school districts (2018-2022)
Learn More about NOAA B-WET at SFU
Spring 2021 Watershed Webinar Series
R-SPACE (Rural Science: Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry, Engineering)
R-SPACE is a collaborative effort among physics, astronomy, chemistry, and environmental engineering professionals and university students who wish to bring science to remote rural corners of Pennsylvania. The purpose of this collaborative work is to demonstrate to students that any phenomenon in science can be and should be explained by different sciences. Only these multifaceted explanations allow scientists to fully understand nature. R-SPACE aims to bring exciting aspects of science to K-12 children in the form of hands-on activities and stimulating demonstrations. In this program students learn science by doing science: from having fun with experiments in chemistry and physics, to conducting their own astronomical observations, to collecting and analyzing data, to discovering relationships among different fields of science and its value in everyday life on Earth. In this program, children are not a passive audience they are scientists.
takes the learning outside of the classroom with this portable, inflatable
planetarium. It helps children and adults better understand our solar system
and is fun for all ages.
Primary Audience: All ages, with a focus on students in grades K-12
Learn More about R-SPACE
Quantum Quest Fest
program is dedicated to increasing science awareness and initiating a life-long
love of science in the younger generation. The program is built around the Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey
movie. With participation of high school students as the designers and creators
of science stations, elementary and middle school children explore various sciences and
participate in hands-on activities prepared for them by the high school
students, their teachers, and students and faculty from SFU. The program
includes visitations to schools and talks by invited guest speakers.
Primary Audience: Students in grades 4 to 6 (with assistance from high school students)
Learn More about Quantum Quest Fest
STEAM Day (formerly Science Day)
Students are able to learn and explore aspects of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics on a campus setting with SFU students, faculty, and local professionals. Students also have the opportunity to showcase the skills and knowledge that they have learned in their
high-school classrooms and compete with other schools in the science bowl. Held annually since 1994.
Primary Audience: high school students and their teachers
Learn More about STEAM Day
PA Statistics Poster Competition
A statistics poster is a display containing two or more related graphics that summarize a set of data, look at the data from different points of view, and answer specific questions about the data. The competition is open to all K-12 students in Pennsylvania in the four grade level categories: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and
10-12. Cash prizes and certificates are awarded for first, second, third, and fourth place in each category. Certificates are awarded for honorable mentions in each category. The winning posters from the Pennsylvania Competition are submitted to the National Statistics Poster Competition. In 2021, 178 posters were entered virtually by 342 students for the
Primary Audience: Students from K-12
Learn More about the PA Statistics Poster Competition
Rural Outreach Chemistry for Kids
The R.O.C.K. program provides local schools and youth organizations with the opportunity to experience chemistry in real life situations. The purpose is to demonstrate to the local K-12 students that science (especially chemistry) is important in everyone's life and can be exciting and interesting. R.O.C.K. also provides students with the chance to experience and participate with the available equipment provided by the R.O.C.K. program, all free of charge.
R.O.C.K. performs hands-on chemistry experiments and activities using mainly household products to show the importance of chemistry in day to day living. We focus on classroom visits (not stage presentations) in the 5 county area around SFU (Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Clearfield, and Somerset). R.O.C.K. also looks at the role that chemistry will have in the future as well as how it will benefit our society.
Primary Audience: Students in grades K-12
Learn More about R.O.C.K.
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