SciREN Triangle Researcher and Educator Event Info

Please save the date for the 2020 SciREN Triangle Researcher and Educator Open House on Thursday, September 24th, 2020 at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh! The main event will run from 5:30-8:30, though we ask scientists to arrive around 4 to give themselves time to set up and get free pizza . In addition to meeting educators from across the state and telling them about your awesome science, we’ll have food and some great swag. 

SciREN is a fun and easy outreach opportunity for scientists at all levels. SciREN helps you or your group create lesson plans from your own interests that meet state and national K-12 curriculum requirements. We then help you share your lesson plan with educators across the state through a networking event and an online lesson plan repository.  Plus it’s a great way to fulfill your NSF broader impact requirement! If you have a lesson plan that you’ve made in the past for SciREN or for another event, we’d love for you to join us and share it, or we can help you create a new one. We’ve included some FAQs about SciREN at the bottom of this email

To help you with your lesson plan, we will host a half-day Lesson Plan Workshop on a Saturday morning in late August, 2020 (either 8/22 or 8/29, to be determined). You’ll have a chance to work directly with educators to make your lesson plan even more amazing. Whether you’re new to SciREN and working with educators, or you’ve done this a few times already, we think that you’ll find the Lesson Plan Workshop really helpful. Plus, we’re working on creating a program to pair interested scientists who attend with teachers to collaborate on their lesson plan – stay tuned for info on that. 

We will send a follow-up email over the summer that will include a link to registration.  

Please read further for more information, or email zgdavis@ncsu.edu with any questions.

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Some frequently asked questions about SciREN: :

What is SciREN? The Scientific Research and Education Network (SciREN) is an outreach and networking organization that facilitates collaboration between educators and research scientists, including grad students, post-docs, and faculty. SciREN helps scientists turn their research into lesson plans that align with curriculum taught in North Carolina schools, and then organizes networking events where scientists present their lesson plans to educators. Educators then use these lessons in the classroom, and scientists sometimes even participate in teaching the lessons they create. Scientists come away with a great lesson or activity they can use for other outreach opportunities! This is an excellent way to conduct outreach and impact the community through an established, graduate student-led organization.

What do I have to do if I sign up to participate? You will create a lesson plan that can be used in classrooms or science centers/museums. The lesson plan can target any age, Pre-K through adult, and can include multimedia, hands-on activities, lab experiments, or other resources. The goal of the lesson plan is to show students that science is exciting, fun, and even relevant to their lives. We will help you make your lesson plan! We provide a template, resources, and access to educators who can help you take an idea and make a great lesson. 

I don’t have time to make a new lesson plan, can I still participate? Definitely! If you’ve previously made a lesson plan, we’d love to have you present that at the Networking Event. And if you have a lesson plan that isn’t quite where you want it to be, we can help you make it even better through the lesson plan workshop or other one-on-one opportunities. 

What does the open house actually look like? What will I be doing? Someone put together a timelapse video of the very first SciREN Triangle event. You can see it here. Essentially, scientists will be at tables with hands-on activities, visuals, or sometimes even candy and department swag to share. Teachers will visit the tables and have the opportunity to talk directly to the scientists who created the lesson plans (so you!) to get more information, ask questions, and even exchange contact information so you can visit their classrooms (though this is entirely optional and not required to participate in SciREN). 

What is the impact of SciREN? Since its inception in 2013, SciREN has reached over 5000 K-12 students from 54 counties in North Carolina as well as Virgina. 97% of educators say that SciREN helped them learn about current STEM research and obtain usable lesson plans, while 96% of researchers who participated once have said they will participate in future SciREN events. SciREN provides an online lesson plan repository where educators can download your lesson plans for use in their classrooms or reach out directly to the researchers who wrote them.