ASTC is pleased to partner with Science Near Me, a new web and mobile platform to help connect people with opportunities to explore, experience, and engage in science right in their own communities. The new ScienceNearMe.org website makes it easy for people to find STEM experiences to enjoy in their local areas as well as around the country—and helps accelerate research on the different ways that individuals connect with STEM learning and engagement opportunities.
Launched with funding from the National Science Foundation, Science Near Me aggregates STEM events, projects, and programs hosted by a wide range of organizations across the country, including science centers and museums, science festivals, and other places that engage the public with science.
The mobile-friendly website includes simple tools like the Opportunity Finder, which lets people efficiently search a rich, distributed network of partner organizations’ databases to identify programs, events, and projects by location, age level, topic, type of engagement, and more. This helps the public quickly discover an event at a local museum, an astronomy talk at a nearby pub, or an online citizen science opportunity that allows anyone to participate in research. The site also provides easy-to-use tools that allow media partners, community-based organizations, and others to customize and embed these STEM engagement offerings for display on their own websites.
”There’s no shortage of opportunities to participate in science across many levels,” said Darlene Cavalier, Science Near Me’s co-founder and the founder of SciStarter. “Science Near Me will help make it easier for people from all backgrounds and interests to connect with the right opportunity and help accelerate research on science engagement and learning in the process.”
Martin Storksdieck, Science Near Me co-founder and director of Oregon State University’s STEM Research Center, emphasized the platform’s scope: “Science Near Me provides the first convenient tool to find all types of science-related engagement activities, both in-person or online, in one place while providing insights to inform future projects aimed at creating more equitable and inclusive science engagement.”
In the current phase, ScienceNearMe.org will pull in activities from several ASTC-member institutions participating as pilot partners, including Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum (Albuquerque, New Mexico), Fleet Science Center (San Diego, California), Maine Discovery Museum (Bangor, Maine), Michigan Science Center (Detroit, Michigan), Museum of Discovery & Science (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), Science Museum Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma), ScienceWorks Museum (Ashland, Oregon), and the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum (Reno, Nevada).
Science Near Me expects to announce opportunities for additional U.S.-based science-engagement organizations to share their activities in the coming months. For partners who are interested in getting involved, reach out to email@example.com for more information.
Joining ASTC as core partners are SciStarter, Oregon State University’s STEM Research Center, COSI’s Center for Research and Evaluation, the MIT Museum’s Science Festival Alliance, The Connectory, Discover Magazine, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.