Science Action Club Activity Leader Training - Information and Application

Science Action Club Application
Application deadline: February 9, 2018 by 5:00 p.m.
Training date: February 17, 2018

Questions? Contact Ryan Driscoll at Ryan.Driscoll@zoo.org

Thank you for your interest in Science Action Club. This document is NOT the application form. The actual application form will be available through the application link at the bottom of this page. We encourage you to use this document to draft your responses in advance. If you have questions about the application, please contact Ryan Driscoll at Ryan.Driscoll@zoo.org.

About Science Action Club
Founded in 2011 by the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, Science Action Club (SAC) is a nationwide program for middle school youth in out-of-school time, designed to transform environmental education at scale. Through games, projects, and hands-on citizen science, youth in SAC investigate nature, document their discoveries, connect with scientists, and design strategies to protect our planet. Educators receive professional development training on SAC kits, guidebooks, and best practices for teaching science in the informal learning environment.

In 2016-2017, SAC engaged 15,000 youth and 1,600 educators through 750 clubs and 215 cities in 17 states across the country. Learn more about the growing SAC network by visiting www.calacademy.org/sac

What’s Included
SAC features three environmental science units that spark curiosity and wonder, build scientific skills, and help youth develop STEM identities. Each unit includes a guidebook with 12 fun activities that take youth outside to connect with nature and contribute to meaningful science research. Each activity is designed for a 60-90-minute club session and can be extended with bonus resources. Teaching kits include class sets of science tools and supplies, and educators participate in blended learning professional development, including an interactive online training, a face-to-face workshop, and digital access to the SAC Educator Portal. SAC Activity Leaders in Washington state are provided with in-person training and ongoing support for SAC implementation by Education staff from Woodland Park Zoo (WPZ).

SAC Curriculum
Bug Safari explores small creatures with big environmental impacts. On local field expeditions, youth search for bugs, collect specimens, and post photographs to iNaturalist—a citizen science project and online social network for nature research. Working with scientists and other students, youth identify arthropod species and document habitat conditions that influence our planet’s health.

Bird Scouts explores feathers, flight, and the features that make birds unique. Using tools and technology, youth identify local species and investigate environmental changes that impact bird behavior. The checklists youth submit to eBird—a citizen science project from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology—help scientists track changes in bird distribution and abundance across the globe.

Cloud Quest explores the impact of clouds on weather and climate. Using the GLOBE Observer citizen science platform, youth identify sky conditions and report their discoveries to NASA. Researchers map these observations against satellite image data to study how clouds influence the flow of energy through Earth’s atmosphere.

Application Instructions
Programs that wish to participate in SAC may apply for one or two curriculum units per school year. Prior to completing the online application form, please review a PDF of the application questions

Applications are due February 9, 2018. To apply, you must complete the application form online.

This application should be filled out by a Program Coordinator or Program Director. It will take approximately 20 minutes to complete—please plan accordingly. You will need to submit one application for each program location you wish to enroll.

Application Acceptance
If accepted, your program will be required to register for and attend the Activity Leader Training scheduled for Saturday February 17, 2018 at Woodland Park Zoo and pay a registration fee of $25*

 Each SAC unit includes:

  • one online training
  • one hands-on training workshop
  • one teaching kit
  • one guidebook
  • access to the SAC Educator Portal
  • ongoing support from Ryan

*Scholarships are available. The Science Action Club program is highly subsidized by grant funding, thanks to SAC’s generous donors.

Program Commitments
If accepted, your program will be expected to:

  • Recruit at least 15 youth in grades 5-8 to participate in SAC.
  • Identify 1-2 reliable program staff to lead SAC with youth.
  • Ensure the program leader(s) and one additional staff person complete the online training and attend the training workshop.
  • Implement all 12 SAC activities per unit during the 2017-2018 school year.
  • Provide reliable Internet access and at least one mobile device per club. Projectors, speakers, and additional mobile devices are strongly recommended.
  • Conduct citizen science and report observations (Internet access required).
  • Track youth attendance and participate in program evaluation activities.

If you anticipate any challenges or barriers to participating in Science Action Club, please contact Ryan Driscoll at Ryan.Driscoll@zoo.org to discuss. Some common challenges may include:

  • I don’t think my program will be able to attend the training.
  • I don’t think my program will be able to recruit enough youth or maintain high attendance.
  • My program does not have reliable Internet access or digital technology 

Support for Washington state Science Action Clubs is provided by Education staff from Woodland Park Zoo in partnership with Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative.