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Privacy Policy

  1. Our Commitment to Privacy
  2. The Information We Collect
  3. Cookies
  4. The Way We Use Information
  5. Science Buddies Email Policy
  6. Our Commitment to Data Security
  7. How to Access or Correct Your Information
  8. How to Contact Us
  9. Final Note to Parents
  1. Our Commitment to Privacy

    Science Buddies is committed to providing a safe and secure website for people of all ages. We are dedicated to safeguarding all personal information collected online and to helping our visitors learn how to exercise control over personal information while exploring the Internet. To further protect the privacy of children under 13 years of age, this website complies with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

    To help ensure a rewarding online experience for all visitors, we provide this summary of our information practices. This privacy notice governs the collection and use of information at ScienceBuddies.org.

    As we continue to offer our visitors new and different types of content and services, we may modify our practices from time to time. However, we will treat all personal information we collect in accordance with the privacy notice in effect at the time the information is collected.

  2. The Information We Collect

    At ScienceBuddies.org we do not collect personally identifiable information, unless our visitors voluntarily provide it to us. For some tools on our website, such as the Topic Selection Wizard, we may ask visitors to provide information that is not personally identifiable. This might include zip code, gender, grade level, or ethnicity. For other tools—such as the Help button, "Email This" feature, and some of our online surveys—we ask visitors to provide us with an email address. Email addresses collected through our Help button and "Email This" feature are deleted from our database once the help request has been filled. For ongoing activities, such as the Ask an Expert Forums (bulletin boards), we ask visitors to provide us with a username and password, zip code, and email address to create an online account. Upon receipt, we will inform the parents of registration, via email. Once the parent has access to the username and password, he or she will be able to change and even delete any personal information. If you would like Science Buddies to stop collecting and using your child's information, please email scibuddy@sciencebuddies.org.

    For select programs, such as our online mentoring, or becoming a Science Buddies Member, we ask for more detailed information, which we use to develop program requirements and to ensure the safety of all participants. To apply as a volunteer for Science Buddies, or as a participant in one of our mentoring programs, visitors need to provide us with personal information so that we are better able to place participants in a suitable role or mentoring environment. The types of information collected at these pages include: name, address, email address, phone number, academic, background, interests, (etc.) On some pages, visitors are asked to submit information about other people. For example, student applicants will need to submit a parent's email address. In this circumstance, the types of personal information collected include: name, address, email address, phone number, age, gender, ethnicity, parent name, parent education, school name, academic background, interests.

    When a child under 13 participates in an ongoing activity (i.e., online mentoring and the Ask an Expert Forums) that requires the collection, retention, and use of personal information, we will disclose this request to the parent through an email, so that we can notify the parent that we have received personal information from his or her child. We do not knowingly collect names and email addresses from children under 13 for these types of activities without notifying the parent and giving the parent the option to remove his or her child's email address from the applicable database for that activity. If you would like Science Buddies to stop collecting and using your child's information, please email scibuddy@sciencebuddies.org.

    For purchases made on our site, we will collect information such as address and phone number that is necessary to complete delivery of your order. We do not store any credit card information you supply to complete a purchase.

    This Web site has the following types of security measures: limited access data-centers, firewall technology, and secure-socket-layer (SSL) certificate authentication. SSL is an encryption technology that provides security for information that's transmitted over the Internet. This site accepts orders only from Web browsers that permit communication through SSL technology-for example, Internet Explorer (version 7.0 or higher), Firefox (version 3.0 or higher), Safari (version 4 or higher), and Chrome (version 2 or higher).

    While we implement the above security measures on this site, you should be aware that 100% security is not always possible.

  3. Cookies

    Like many organizations, we use cookies and log files on our website. Cookies are small text files that websites often store on the computer hard drives of visitors to their sites. A cookie contains a unique code, which is used to recognize your computer when a user of your computer returns to a website that was visited previously. Log files are text files that websites like ours automatically create on our own computer servers when a user visits the site. We use cookies and log files to enhance the online experience of our visitors and to better understand how our site is used. Cookies and log files may tell us, for example, whether you have visited our site before or whether you are a new visitor.

    The "help" portion of the toolbar on most browsers will tell you how to stop accepting new cookies, how to be notified when you receive a new cookie, and how to disable existing cookies. Remember, though, without cookies, you may not be able to take full advantage of all our website features, such as our Topic Selection Wizard.

  4. The Way We Use Information

    We may use information in the following ways:

    • For the purposes for which visitors specifically provided the information, including, for example, to respond to an inquiry, offer online forums (bulletin boards), or to enable us to process, validate, and verify online registration or match volunteers in the mentoring programs.
    • To send you email updates about our new or existing products and services, or to otherwise contact you.
    • To enhance existing features or develop new features, products, and services.
    • To communicate with our funders and colleagues about the demographics of who is using our website.

    In the case of our online mentoring programs, we use the information provided to ensure that the applicant is matched with a suitable team. We do not share this information with outside parties. Personal information is used strictly for program administration. On some occasions, we may provide general background information, but not personally identifiable information, about a student and/or a student's school to enable our volunteer Mentors and Advisors to provide appropriate guidance to student participants. For example, we might share with a Mentor that the student with whom he is working is a 7th-grade student at a public school in an underserved urban area in a large east coast city.

    We use the information provided about someone else as a secondary contact in the event that you cannot be reached. We do not share this information with outside parties.

    We use return addresses to answer the email we receive and/or to inquire about the user's desire for additional services. Such addresses are not used for any other purpose and are not shared with outside parties.

    We use non-identifying and aggregate information to better design our program and to share with parties interested in offering financial support to our program. One of the most important uses of such information is to analyze how much traffic our different webpages and services receive. Or, another example, we may tell a potential funder that X number of women volunteered as advisors, or that Y number of men and Z number of women completed science fair projects, but we would not disclose anything that could be used to identify those individuals.

    We may disclose personally identifiable information in response to legal process; for example, in response to a court order or a subpoena. We also may disclose such information in response to a law enforcement agency's request, or where we believe it is necessary to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud, situations involving potential threats to the physical safety of any person, violations of our terms of use, to verify or enforce compliance with the policies governing our website and applicable laws, or as otherwise required or permitted by law. In addition, we will provide a student's information to school officials when there is any known case of cheating, plagiarism, or fraud, stemming from information provided on our website. We may also transfer personally identifiable information about you if we or one of our business units are acquired by, sold to, or merged with another company.

    We will not use or transfer personally identifiable information in ways that are materially different from the ones described above without also providing parental notification of such practices and obtaining consent for any materially different uses.

    Finally, we never use or share the personally identifiable information provided to us online in ways unrelated to the ones described above without also providing visitors an opportunity to opt out or otherwise prohibit such unrelated uses. If you would like Science Buddies to stop collecting and using your child's information, please email scibuddy@sciencebuddies.org.

  5. Science Buddies Email Policy

    ScienceBuddies.org will not share, sell, rent, swap, or authorize any third party to use your email address without your permission. If you feel you have received an email from us in error, please contact scibuddy@sciencebuddies.org.

    Account and Service-Related Email: Science Buddies reserves the right to send you email relating to your account status. This includes confirmations, renewal/expiration notices, other transactional emails, and notifications about major changes to our websites and/or to our Privacy Policy. If you have registered for online discussions or other services, you may receive email specific to your participation in those activities.

    Email Newsletters: Science Buddies occasionally offers email newsletters. If you do not wish to receive a specific newsletter, follow the "unsubscribe" instructions located near the bottom of each newsletter or email scibuddy@sciencebuddies.org to opt out of our mailing list.

  6. Our Commitment to Data Security

    To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the correct use of information, we have put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.

  7. How To Access or Correct Your Information

    Visitors can access all the personally identifiable information that we collect online and maintain by emailing scibuddy@sciencebuddies.org. We use this procedure to better safeguard visitor information.

    Visitors can correct factual errors in personally identifiable information by sending us a request that credibly shows error.

    To protect visitor privacy and security, we will also take reasonable steps to verify visitor identity before granting access or making corrections.

  8. How to Contact Us

    If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding our privacy policy and/or practices, please contact us at the following email address or mailing address:

    Email: scibuddy@sciencebuddies.org

    Mailing Address:
    Science Buddies Privacy
    PO Box 5038
    Carmel, CA  93921

  9. Final Note to Parents

    The Internet offers a world of opportunity for children. Your guidance and involvement are essential to help ensure that children have a safe and rewarding online experience. Your efforts to instill responsible information practices will help steer your children to age-appropriate sites, and will go a long way toward ensuring that your children have enriching online experiences.