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Science Buddies Annual Report: Supporting STEM Education

STEM: BUILDING 21st CENTURY CITIZENS 2013 Annual Report


Some things are elemental.

With these words, words that echo principles of physics, the periodic table, and the idea of core building blocks, the Science Buddies STEM: BUILDING 21st CENTURY CITIZENS 2013 Annual Report kicks off. Though primarily an update to inform current and future sponsors and partners about Science Buddies' activities, growth, and impact on science literacy in 2013, this year's annual report reads and looks like a coffee table booklet on the importance and value of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education—and the invaluable role Science Buddies is making in science education for more than fifteen million students, teachers, and parents each year.

Our impact is built on the fundamental building blocks of universal accessibility, the thrill of scientific discovery, skill-building that lasts a lifetime, and practical career development. With these elements in place, we're equipping the next generation of students with the skills and knowledge required to become truly engaged citizens of this 21st century.


Making a Difference in STEM Education—One Student at a Time

For both individuals and corporations, the Annual Report brings the vital role Science Buddies plays in STEM education to life with stories of students who have found at Science Buddies support, tools, and resources that made a difference in their science project experience. In the pages of the Annual Report, you will meet students like Naima Raza, who got hooked on science but was road blocked by lack of access to a lab and to local mentors who could nurture her interest in science, Jennifer Metu, whose science path started with a potato chip experiment from the library of Project Ideas at Science Buddies, and Kathryn Daniels, who found early inspiration and support for science inquiry at Science Buddies and is now working at Edwards Lifesciences. (To view more student and teacher success stories, see Science Buddies in Action.)

Through compelling real-world stories of students who use Science Buddies and data that shows Science Buddies' reach across lines of location, gender, and ethnicity, the Annual Report highlights core premises upon which Science Buddies was built, operates, and succeeds, foundational elements that Science Buddies views as core building blocks of STEM success: Accessibility, Discovery, Skill Building, and Career Development. Block by block, these principles snap together to create a STEM program and solution.

Science Buddies makes it super easy for my students to pick a topic for a project and stay with it. ANGELA MCDANIEL, WINNER, 2011 PRESIDENTIAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING

With changes and improvements in 2013 including a mobile-friendly version of the Science Buddies site, continued improvements and offerings in the Science Buddies Store, the launch of the new Science Activities area, and ongoing expansion of Project Ideas in both classic and new areas of science, including nanotechnology, biotechnology, and robotics, Science Buddies continues to grow its repository of free STEM resources to meet student, teacher, and parent needs in the classroom, for science fair, and at home.


Science Buddies in Every School

Despite reaching more than 15.4 million in 2013, there are still teachers and schools around the world that are struggling to incorporate hands-on science and to engage students in STEM inquiry—teachers who may not yet know about Science Buddies.

To continue expanding, developing, and reaching an even wider audience, Science Buddies relies on the continued support of current sponsors and partners like Symantec Corporation, Motorola Solutions Foundation, Northrop Grumman, Chevron, Time Warner Cable, and Elmer's Products, Inc. Science Buddies resources remain free to use thanks to support from companies, organizations, and individual donors who join us in our mission to bring science literacy to everyone—regardless of who they are and where they live.

While we celebrate our accomplishments thus far, we look forward to an even stronger, more sustainable Science Buddies that brings the critical elements of STEM literacy to millions more students, teachers, and parents around the world.


Helping Us Share Our STEM Story

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This year's annual report is the product of a grant from the Taproot Foundation. Through Taproot, a team of dedicated volunteers who believe in the vital importance of science education were brought together to help share our story. The Taproot team learned about Science Buddies from the inside out, interviewed a wide range of people who have been impacted by Science Buddies and who support Science Buddies in its mission, and worked to bring the stories to life through extraordinary photos, graphics design, and writing.


Science Buddies extends its thanks to the Taproot Foundation and talented pro bono team members Kinnari Desai, Frank Fennema, Jay Hamilton-Roth, Shawn Robertson, Jess Sand, and Dane Solomon.

According to Kenneth Hess, founder and CEO of Science Buddies, working with the Taproot Foundation was a wonderful experience. "The Taproot team, led by Dane Solomon, did an amazing job understanding our mission and gathering information and stories that, together, illustrate the many ways in which Science Buddies fills a critical need in STEM education."

"The Taproot Foundation grant made possible the kind of annual report we have always wanted but have not had the resources to develop," says Hess. "We are excited to share this year's annual report with our sponsors, partners, and members of the Science Buddies community."


Science Buddies Science Activities

Science Buddies and Autodesk for Student STEM Exploration


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Think baseball is all about runs, outs, balls, and strikes? What about physics, biomechanics, and statistics? Explore the science of baseball!

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We go DIY with molecular gastronomy and family science as we make our own popping boba using the Spherification Kit from the Science Buddies Store.

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The current Ebola crisis in West Africa has already topped charts for all Ebola outbreaks in history. Medical biotechnology science projects let students gets hands-on with projects that parallel real-world research and development.

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An unusual caterpillar brings lots of "eeeews!" and one contribution to a citizen science project. Discover how anyone can collaborate on serious scientific research.

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UC Berkeley Professor Dan Garcia talks about the kind of "drag-and-drop," block-based, snap-together programming environments that are becoming increasingly popular as a way to introduce students of all ages to code.

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With a smorgasbord of fun, engaging, playful, and puzzling modules available as part of the Hour of Code initiative, kids can experiment with programming basics and sample Javascript, Python, Ruby, and more.



Your Science!
What will you explore for your science project this year? What is your favorite classroom science activity? Email us a short (one to three sentences) summary of your science project or teaching tip. You might end up featured in an upcoming Science Buddies newsletter!



You may print and distribute up to 200 copies of this document annually, at no charge, for personal and classroom educational use. When printing this document, you may NOT modify it in any way. For any other use, please contact Science Buddies.