Help Support Science Education and Outreach

Donate to Science in Society through Northwestern's We Will campaign
Science in Society
June 17, 2014

As part of Northwestern University’s We Will campaign, you can now give directly to Science in Society through the online fundraising portal. All donations will be used to support our science education and outreach initiatives.

The Campaign for Northwestern’s priorities go hand-in-hand with Science in Society’s core mission. One of the Campaign’s main goals is to connect the campus with the community. We support this goal by training Northwestern researchers how to be effective science communicators and educators. Our strong partnerships with Chicago-area schools, libraries and youth development groups enable us to connect NU researchers with the community groups that need us most.

For example, our Science Club program, run at the Pedersen-McCormick Boys & Girls Club in Uptown, connects middle school students from Chicago Public Schools with Northwestern science graduate student mentors. Through year-long science curricula, the mentors hone their own teaching and science communication skills, while raising middle school students' science skills and inspiring them to pursue careers in science and engineering.

Rigorous evaluation reveals the program's impact: 100 percent of Science Club youth see science as important for their future careers, and their science skills are 30 percent higher than their aptitude-matched peers. For its outstanding impact in the community, Science Club was honored with the national 2013 STEM Impact Award from the Afterschool Alliance.

We also work closely with teachers at Evanston Township High School, supporting science classrooms and facilitating trips to the university. The “ETHS-NU Biology" program brings Northwestern scientists into the Biology with Support classroom to teach at-risk students about biotechnology and science careers. As a result of working with Northwestern researchers, over 70 percent of youth are more interested in science and in college, and they are twice as likely to report greater interest in taking future science classes, compared to a control group.

Our online magazine, HELIX, and annual scientific images contest, “Capturing the Beauty of Science,” aim to bring the research being done at Northwestern and throughout the world to the community, as well as turn scientists into effective communicators.

Over the past five years, the magazine’s readership has grown to more than 145,000 unique visitors per year. All articles are authored by Northwestern faculty, students and staff, who receive one-on-one training in storytelling techniques and best practices. Authors have gone on to receive writing fellowships and pursue full-time careers in science writing.

Winning images from our annual contest have been displayed at local schools, libraries and art galleries, as well as WBEZ’s studio on Navy Pier and Harold Washington Library in downtown Chicago. This year the images will be displayed at the Museum of Science and Industry. The contest also serves as a science communications training platform through exhibits and public talks.

With your help, we can continue to serve our community partners and build on this exciting work. Thank you for your support!

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