Science Outreach Center | Saint Francis University
Skip navigation

Science Outreach Center

    • SOC Banner 5
    • SOC Banner 6
    • SOC Banner 7
    • SOC Banner 3
    • SOC Banner 8
  • Contact Us

    If you are a teacher, parent or student interested in one of our programs                                  
    Follow us on Facebook Facebook Icon  or

    Follow Us on Twitter Twitter Bird Icon

    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.

  • 2020-2021 Programs

    • Kid's College
    • STEAM Summer Academies
    • NOAA B-WET
    • Hubble
    • Science Cafe & Cosmic Treats
    • R-SPACE
    • Q2F
    • STEAM Day
    • PA Statistics Poster Competition
    • R.O.C.K.
    Kid's College

    Kids' College @ SFU

    SOC Kids College - buttonSaint 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

    STEAM Summer Academies

    SOC Stem Academies - buttonSaint 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



    NOAA Summer Watershed Institute DriverThe 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 (2018-2021)

    Learn More about NOAA B-WET at SFU

    Spring 2021 Watershed Webinar Series


    SOC Hubble 30 ButtonHubble
    On April 24, 2020, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope celebrated  the 30th anniversary of its launch aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery with the release of a stunning new Hubble image! The Science Outreach Center at Saint Francis University is pleased to have been selected as one of a limited number of locations across the nation to unveil the anniversary photo to the public. We will be celebrating throughout the year.

    Learn about the image here

    Science Cafe & Cosmic Treats

    Science Café

    Cosmic Cocktails is a part of the international network of Science Cafés. It is a series of public talks and conversations on a wide variety of topics in science. Every month we invite a scientist from different fields of science to discuss the history and importance of the latest discoveries in her/his field. From quarks to the universe, from cells to mammals, from the human brain to robots, it’s all about science and discoveries! We serve an educational and entertaining program: cocktails with a splash of science.

    Primary Audience: Adults (children welcome)
    Location:  Allegheny Creamery and Crepes, 505 Allegheny St, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648 

    Find Upcoming Events on Facebook


    Cosmic Treats

    SOC Cosmic Treats - buttonA series of science talks about exciting discoveries in our universe with tasty treats from the local kitchen. The talks, which are enhanced by hands-on activities and trivia games, are presented by professors and students from Saint Francis University and occasional guests from the community. 

    Primary Audience: kindergartners to their grandparents 
    Location: Hollidaysburg Area and Patton public libraries

    Learn More about Cosmic Treats


    R-SPACE (Rural Science: Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry, Engineering)

    SOC R-Space - buttonR-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.  

    Featured Activity

    Palumbo Planetarium. This 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

    This 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

    STEAM Day (formerly Science Day)

    SOC Science Day - buttonStudents 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

    PA Statistics Poster Competition

    SOC Poster Competition - buttonA 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 competition.

    Primary Audience: Students from K-12

    Learn More about the PA Statistics Poster Competition



    Rural Outreach Chemistry for Kids (R.O.C.K.)

    SOC ROCK - buttonThe 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.

  • Upcoming Events

     SOC Kids College - button  NOAA Summer Watershed Institute Driver

  • Science Outreach Center Facebook Feed