SKEF brings best practices in science education to Oregon

Posted by SKEF on February 2 2015

Help SKEF create future scientists, engineers and mathematicians

We’re building the next generation of women (and men) in science, but we need your help to do it.

Afterschool coordinators will launch a new science program at 15 schools in January based on SciGirls, a national STEM outreach organization and popular PBS television show.

SciGirls developed the curriculum based on decades of best practices to keep girls (and boys) engaged in science, technology, engineering and math. The strategies include more collaboration, hands-on projects, positive feedback and relationships with role models.

These same strategies work for boys, too, said SKEF Enrichment Academy Director Lauren Jones. But the program needs volunteers with a love of science or those willing to discover alongside the kids.

Buoyancy, animal habitats and brain functions are just a few of the 400 lessons and experiments on tap, which are aligned with science standards used in Oregon schools.

The experiments rely on materials that are easy to find such as rubber bands, straws or plastic eggs. Kids can test leaf toughness with a homemade penetrometer, find buoyancy and track heart rates.

“The whole point is getting kids to use the scientific method,” Jones said.

About 24 site coordinators and staffers experienced the hands-on learning themselves during a SciGirls training in January. They conducted experiments and discovered how fun science can be.

“It was a seriously amazing training,” said site coordinator Michelle Demarest.

She’s excited to roll out the program for her students at McKinley Elementary the third week in January. Contact Lauren Jones at to volunteer today.

Create the next generation of scientists

We need you to teach and mentor students in science, technology, engineering and math whether you’re an expert or an enthusiastic novice. Contact Lauren Jones at to volunteer today.

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