UCAR Center for Science Education

Invitation: Walter Orr Roberts Distinguished Lecture: Science and Stakeholders

You are invited to this year's Walter Orr Roberts Distinguished Lecture, "Science and Stakeholders," which will be presented by Dr. Tracey Holloway at Conference on World Affairs. The talk will be at Macky Auditorium, at the University of Colorado Boulder on Wednesday, April 11th from 1:00-2:20pm.
 
Dr. Tony Busalacchi will introduce Dr. Holloway. Family of Walter Orr Roberts will be in attendance and will present the speaker with a gift.

Tutoring with "I Have a Dream" Foundation Brown Bag

Are you interested in learning how you can share your expertise with a child? Are you interested in learning about tutoring students who come from low-income families?

Please join us for an informational brown bag lunch session on Tuesday, February 13th, from 11:30-1:00 at the Unidata Conference room at FL4. Ashley Keltner from the "I Have a Dream" Foundation of Boulder County will have a talk about their tutoring program and how we, as both individuals and an organization, might get involved.

K-12 Education and Public Outreach Working Group

Are you interested in K-12 education and public outreach? If so, please join your colleagues in a discussion about this topic on Tuesday, February 20th from 2:30-3:30pm in the CG1 South Auditorium. During this meeting we'll share updates on education and outreach efforts happening across the organization, discuss ideas for collaborations across groups, and discuss how we'd like these meetings to be structured in the future.

Karen Smith-Herman Retirement Celebration

Howdy! Please join SciEd as we celebrate Karen Smith-Herman’s 18 years of service to UCAR and SOARS in education. We want to thank Karen for everything she has done for all of us so mark your calendars for Friday, January 19th from 2:00pm-4:30pm. It’s a western party folks, so put on your boots and celebrate!

Wizards work their magic at Super Science Saturday

December 4, 2017 | A number of new and returning volunteer NCAR Wizards helped make this year's Super Science Saturday a rousing success.

Free family fun at Super Science Saturday: Nov. 4

BOULDER, Colo. — Come learn about our wild weather at this year’s Super Science Saturday on Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Mesa Lab in south Boulder.The free, family-oriented event will feature weather balloon launches and a storm-chasing vehicle. Shows by NCAR wizards will include simulations of lightning and fire tornadoes, a special version of a storm surge with an intrepid reporter on the scene, and a "lightning jellyfish."Local science organizations will be on hand with special activities throughout the building."Weather can be scary, but it's also exciting and fun," said Eileen Carpenter, a science education specialist at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), which manages NCAR. "The more you know about wild weather, the more you can enjoy it while staying safe."Free tickets for the scheduled shows or workshops are available at the door. Snacks and lunch items will be available for purchase in the cafe (cash only). Parking will be limited, so please consider carpooling.DetailsWhat: Super Science SaturdayWhen: Saturday, Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.Where: NCAR’s Mesa Lab, 1850 Table Mesa Drive, BoulderWho:  Activities for the entire family, with events especially focused on children ages 6 to 12.Cost:  FreeA weather balloon launch at last year's Super Science Saturday (©UCAR. Photo by Carlye Calvin. This image is freely available for media & nonprofit use.)

A Farewell to Teri Eastburn

Please join SciEd as we say farewell to Teri Eastburn after almost 16 years of dedicated service to UCAR and NCAR in education and outreach. Most recently, Teri led the development of UCARConnect. Prior to that, Teri led our school and public programs from the Mesa Lab for many years. We hope to see you in the Mesa Lab Damon Room on Wednesday, September 27, from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. as we thank Teri for sharing the wonder of science with the public.

Come Join The Fun! Volunteer for Super Science Saturday! November 4th

Join the UCAR Center for Science Education (SciEd) for our Spectacular Super Science Saturday Event on Nov. 4th! This year's theme is "Wild Weather".

UCAR/NCAR/UCP staff help to make the event fun, meaningful, and informative by greeting the public, providing general information and engaging the public in simple science education activities. Please consider volunteering for one of the following shifts:
9:30 am – 1:00 pm
12:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Click on the link below to sign up to volunteer with us at this amazing event:

Chasing Coral - A Public Screening

Join with friends and neighbors as we view Chasing Coral, a film directed by Boulder's own Jeff Orlowski and produced by Larissa Rhodes at Production Labs. Jeff set out to tell the story of vanishing coral reefs around the world that are being threatened at an unprecedented rate. A team of divers, photographers and scientists set out to discover why and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world.

Nationally recognized internship program to reach more students than ever

July 26, 2017 | As a protégé in UCAR's SOARS program during 2003 and 2004, Deanna Hence learned the key skills that would take her through graduate school and beyond, from working with data sets to coping with increasing work demands. Now a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she credits her college internship in SOARS for her subsequent career success."I would say that SOARS is pretty much 100 percent responsible for me being where I am today," Hence said.SOARS, which stands for Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science, tends to get rave reviews from its nearly 200 alumni — about 80 percent of whom have gone on to graduate school and/or careers related to science or math. In just more than two decades, the research and mentoring program led by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) has helped cultivate a new and diverse generation of leaders in the geosciences.As part of its new five-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the program is now working to partner with SOARS alumni at universities and develop a network of satellite programs. This will enable the benefits of SOARS to reach more undergraduate students than the 20 or so who participate in each year's cohort, which includes summer research internships at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and other Boulder-area laboratories."We can only accept a limited number of students at NCAR, based on funding and the availability of scientists and engineers who can serve as mentors each year," said Rebecca Batchelor, the director of SOARS. "But now we have the ability to support many more deserving students with the help of our alumni network in the university community."Hence is among the first alumni who will build a SOARS satellite program. The program at the University of Illinois consists of a summer research internship that can be based in Illinois or divided between Illinois and NCAR. Protégés will receive additional support during the year, including guidance on giving presentations, collaborating on research projects, and writing resumes.SOARS protégé Jeremiah Piersante, an atmospheric sciences major at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, shows Deanna Hence results from his research into the diurnal cycle of hail occurrence. (Photo by Jeffrey Thayer.)On the Illinois campus, Hence is recruiting professors and other departmental staff to volunteer as mentors, and the program has begun to enroll the first protégés. This year, one SOARS protégé, Jeremiah Piersante, is spending part of the summer working at NCAR with scientists Sarah Tessendorf (also a SOARS alum) and Roy Rassmussen, and part on campus with Hence. Another protégé, Amy Chen, will begin her graduate research with Hence in the fall."I'm excited about expanding the reach of the SOARS model to our students at Illinois," Hence said. "We want to provide mentoring year round, so students will continue to get consistent support and become more integrated into the department culture."A success from its beginningsLaunched in 1996, SOARS quickly won nationwide attention for its innovative approach to supporting college students interested in atmospheric and related geosciences, especially those from communities underrepresented in the geosciences. In just its fifth year, the program won a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.Each protégé has a comprehensive support system that includes research mentors, a writing mentor, a computing mentor, a coach who helps the student navigate unfamiliar territory and stressful situations, and peer mentors. Protégés can participate in the year-round program, including summer internships, for up to four years, bridging the leap from undergraduate to graduate school.More than 120 alumni have earned a master's degree in science or engineering and 40 have earned Ph.D.s.This growing alumni network is powering efforts to reach a new generation of students. For example, Colorado State University's Department of Atmospheric Science has increased enrollment by students from underrepresented groups from 3.5 percent to 16 percent in the last decade, thanks partly to the efforts of a 2005 SOARS protégé, Melissa Burt, who is now the education and diversity manager for the department, as well as a research scientist. The department has taken a SOARS-like approach, with students working on lab research and field campaigns with university faculty mentors and getting early exposure to leadership training.UCAR's satellite initiative goes a step further, ultimately building a network of SOARS programs at universities, led by alumni who are now junior faculty. The NSF grant includes three pilot satellites located at the University of Illinois, the University of Central Florida (led by SOARS alum Talea Mayo), and a third university to be identified later.SOARS staff at UCAR will provide support that may range from helping a department develop career-building seminars on such topics as scientific writing and presentation skills, offering webinars on select issues, or supporting efforts to recruit prospective protégés and mentors."One of the most exciting aspects is we're at a point when we have SOARS protégés who are in leadership positions and now have the ability to bring students into their own institutions," Batchelor said. "So we have this multiplier effect, and that can have a tremendous impact on the next generation of geoscientists."PartnersUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUniversity of Central FloridaFunderNational Science FoundationWriterDavid Hosansky

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