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Burps, Sharks, Your Insides and Other Scientific Matters

Sharing STEM Books and Passion with Middle Schoolers

AAAS members including three AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellows (STPF) spent a fall day at a DC middle school sharing their experiences to help spur interest in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) careers.


Neha Pankow with KIPP students. | KIPP DC

Since 2015, AAAS and Subaru have partnered to host the Subaru Loves Learning initiative which provides science literature to schools in need across the country. On Sept. 21 at KIPP DC Northeast Academy, the member volunteers presented books that were winners and finalists for the 2018 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prizes for Excellence in Science Books to KIPP students. Members also discussed how their professional career connects to one of the books.

The books donated to the school are:

  • Shark Lady
  • This Book Stinks
  • Magnets Push – Magnets Pull
  • How to Tame A Fox
  • To Burp or Not to Burp
  • Robins – How They Grew Up
  • Animals by The Numbers
  • If You Were the Moon
  • Inside Your Insides
  • Try This – Extreme Edition

ConSandra McNeil, 2018-19 STPF fellow at the National Science Foundation, found the volunteer activity personally rewarding. “It brought back many memories of my childhood when I dreamed that one day I would become a sociologist and a college professor. From sharing my family background and educational experiences, the students had a chance to hear and witness that their dreams can become a reality. It is my hope that seeds were planted, and that those seeds continue to grow in making major contributions to the scientific world!”

“As a cross-disciplinary engineer-biologist, the volunteer experience taught me how open-minded middle school kids are in understanding the overlap and melding of STEM disciplines,” remarked Neha Pankow, 2018-19 STPF fellow at the National Science Foundation. “One student in particular was interested in both systems networking and biology- what a fantastic future!”

“It was a fantastic experience and I hope the students had as much fun as we did,” said Carolyn Stwertka, 2018-19 STPF fellow at the Department of Defense.

The book event gave AAAS members including STPF fellows a way to support science learning in their local community. Member volunteers were joined by AAAS staff from Project 2061; Information Technology; Center of Science, Policy, and Society Programs; Research Competitiveness Program; Government Relations; and, Office of Public Programs.


Kat Song

Senior Marketing & Communications Manager

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