The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, California, has received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). The awards represent the highest honor in the United States for individuals and organizations working with and serving those who are underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education fields and workforce. In particular, PAESMEM highlights the critical work that individuals and organizations in informal education spaces do outside of the classroom to support future STEM professionals across the country.
The California Academy of Sciences has been honored for its Careers in Science Intern Program. This program offers STEM-based and workforce development experiences to high school students in San Francisco who are members of communities underrepresented in the sciences. The two- or three-year paid internships give students specialized training, mentoring, and more supported by scientists and visiting professionals at the science center.
Managed by the National Science Foundation on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, PAESMEM has been awarded since 1995. Nominations are submitted to recognize potential awardees’ excellence in broadening participation in STEM. Mentoring may be provided to learners from kindergarten and up, as well as those who have just started out in STEM careers.
Over the years, several ASTC members have been honored:
- The Clubhouse Network, Museum of Science in Boston, Massachusetts (2017)
- Women in Natural Sciences, Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2014)
- Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science (as Miami Museum of Science & Planetarium) in Miami, Florida (2004)
- Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado (2001)