People across the country are looking for opportunities to directly engage with scientific research on a meaningful level. That means interacting with scientists and their research directly, instead of just reading about it in journals and magazines.
The desire for true interaction isn’t so hard to understand. Extreme weather around the world is pushing many to ask how they can help to stem the tide of climate change. The rapid development of emerging technologies calls for the involvement of a diverse group of informed stakeholders to help shape policies and ensure technologies benefit society. And a general longing to socially reconnect or find new communities around shared interests is driving attendance at science festivals, lectures, astronomy parties and family events at museums.
Today, there are countless ways to explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Yet it’s still hard to know how to find them.
That’s why we’re launching Science Near Me, a brand new website that connects people with all things science. ScienceNearMe.org lets you easily search a diverse database of STEM opportunities to find fun science events, projects, and programs in your area and across the U.S. Users can easily see museum events, science festivals, astronomy clubs, after school robotics programs and more all in one place.
“There are already many resources for people to learn about science,” says Cavalier. “What we’re creating is a place for people to interact in ways they find useful, because when everyone is engaged in science, we all win.”
A New Way to Get Involved in Science
On the mobile-friendly Science Near Me website, the intuitive search feature lets you select the type of activity, location, topic and more. This feature gives users the ability to discover science in a way that’s never existed before. You can look for opportunities that are online or in-person, select an age range for opportunities and refine your search by date range, cost and more.
Turning on “location” will enable a customizable homepage that recommends events and experiences near you, making it easy to find science opportunities. Users can also make accounts to unlock an even more personalized experience and track the science they’ve participated in, save events to their profile and more.
Powered by Partners
Science Near Me is partnering with organizations around the country to connect their opportunities to the Science Near Me database. We’re partnered with innovative science centers like the Nevada Discovery Museum, annual celebrations like the Wisconsin Science Festival and nationwide partners like NASA’s Night Sky Network and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Together, we’ll be creating a deep pool of science opportunities for anyone, anywhere.
“So many providers from all domains of science technology came together to make Science Near Me a reality,” says Martin Storksdieck, Science Near Me co-founder and director of Oregon State University’s STEM Research Center. “That diversity means we’re able to include a huge array of science-focused experiences while simultaneously ensuring our database is constantly updated with the latest events and opportunities.”
In addition to highlighting the science around us, Science Near Me will be an invaluable tool for researchers as they learn how the public engages in science. This emerging field is creating better ways to reach and support different populations as important stakeholders in learning about and informing science (from basic to applied research). Insights from Science Near Me will enable even better tools to create innovative means of science engagement in the future, which is of particular interest to the National Science Foundation, which supports Science Near Me through grant funding.
Head to ScienceNearMe.org to get started today. You can register for an account to save events to your profile, or just begin searching your area for opportunities. We’re excited to see what you find!