America’s Future Scientists Fund’s mission is to inspire elementary and middle school students to seek careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields by developing an Eco-System of Support that sustains kids’ natural love of science through college and life.
The Challenge: Keeping Kids Interested in Science
Every child is born with a natural curiosity and love of science. They explore their world with open eyed zeal, taking in anything and everything with unbridled enthusiasm. However, many of these young explorers lose this innate curiosity by the time they reach the preteen years.
Elementary students face an eco-system of negativity around science and academic achievement. Peer pressure, teachers intimidated by science topics, unsupportive parents and popular media drive this innate love of science out of these kids. By the time they reach middle school, being educated and interested in science has gone from natural enthusiasm to a social liability.
These influences are powerful. Central to this challenge is the current pedagogy of teaching science. We are using 19th century methods to teach 21st century knowledge. In a world where children are fluent in the use of technology and exciting media, most science education for elementary students is simply boring.
If we are to compete with video games, television, movies, social media, etc., we need to rethink how we present science related topics.
The Opportunity: Making Science Entertaining and Easy to Teach.
In millions of elementary students lie the potential to change the world for the better. Study after study shows that it’s not innate intelligence that counts the most – it’s the support kids receive early in life that increases the odds of each child reaching their potential.
Creating an Eco-System of Support for early grades.
Combining lesson programs presented in a familiar media language, peer role modeling, professional development for teachers and special workshops for parents, we are creating a positive Eco-System of Support to allow every child the opportunity to prosper.
By presenting science as an exciting adventure we can create a “bridge” to carry young students through impressionable years, to higher education and beyond.
We’ll do this by:
- Developing and distributing standards aligned, multi-media (video, gaming, lesson plans) curriculum that is highly engaging, tailor made for classroom use and using media students love.
- Professional development for elementary teachers to make teaching science easier and more effective
- Workshops for parents to better understand their role in supporting their kids and giving them the tools to help them prosper – regardless of economic status.
Supporting the Fund
The Fund connects private foundations and corporations to real world outcomes in creating and sustaining the STEM workforce of tomorrow. With the support of America’s leading companies, we will make our programs available to any teacher or parent who needs it.