History

Year after year, AAAS Public Science Day continues to provide a great opportunity for students to discover the world of science.

Public Science Day 2016 - Washington DC at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History brought 150 students from three local schools to explore hands-on activities in the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. Students explored the three divisions of the exhibition. In "Places of Invention" students were introduced to areas that are incubators in certain fields (filmmaking, computing, manufacturing, and medicine) and they explored setting pacemakers for sick patients, building picture holders using wire and simple equipment, and manipulating sound using turntables. In the Spark!Lab, students were invited to become inventors and to explore innovative hands-on activities focused on the theme "Things That Make Sound." In the "Inventive Minds" gallery, they learned more about American inventors, the process of innovation, and inventions, such as the bicycle.

Public Science Day 2014 - Chicago began with a free public Science Film Showcase “Mapping The Unseen” on February 12th.  On the 13th scientists were on hand at The Field Museum to share their research and explore the artifacts and specimens from the approximately 30 million objects in the Museum’s collection.  Over 800 students were bussed in from local schools.  The Nature Museum provided an environmental education program for 250 4-8th graders from 4 local schools.  Students engaged in presentations and guided workshops centered around how honeybees and local Midwest butterfly populations interact with their environments to survive.  On Saturday the 15th, Hive Chicago partnered with AAAS to host teen journalists at the Annual AAAS Meeting along-side world-renowned journalists in an exploration of Science Journalism as a career.

Public Science Day 2013 - Boston took place on Harvard Campus. In collaboration with the Harvard Museum of Natural History and Harvard's Life Sciences Outreach program, over 110 middle-school students from the city of Chelsea attended the "STEM Careers Fair." Presentations by graduate student scientists broadened middle schoolers' perspectives for who scientists are and the paths they take to reach their goals. An afternoon "Science Activity Fair" engaged 200 K-5 students from after-school programs, primary local Boys and Girls Clubs, in fun science activities set up within the exhibits of the museum and led by university science students.

Public Science Day 2012 - Vancouver BC at the Science World Museum, paired Nalini Nadkami, winner of the Award for Public Engagement with Science, with local junior high students and Joan Dunning, author and illustrator of A Seabird in the Forest, winner of the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Children's Science Books, with elementary school students. Nalini Nadkami presented on the science of the forest canopy while Joan Dunning held a book reading and seabird art lesson.

Public Science Day 2011 - Washington DC hosted nearly 375 middle-school students from within the GET SET network of schools at the Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. There, speakers from the NASA MESSENGER "Mission to Planet Mercury" science team and education/public outreach team presented  in the IMAX auditorium. Just up the road at AAAS headquarters, 100 high-school students from Idea Public Charter School, another GET SET school, took part in a presentation and lunch with Lynn Fellman, an independent artist bridging science and the humanities by focusing on the intersection of current genomic research, art, and narrative.

Public Science Day 2010 - San Diego attracted more than 500 local elementary school students to the Ruben H. Fleet science center in San Diego’s Balboa Park for a jam-packed day of science activities and exploration for the 2010 Public Science Day at the AAAS Annual Meeting. The Science Center teamed with local science partners including the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Air & Space Museum, and the San Diego Natural History Museum to offer several hands-on activities highlighting sound wave science, the fundamentals of flight, fossil investigations, and hissing cockroaches. Additionally, each student received a grab bag containing hands-on activities to investigate at home.

Public Science Day 2009 - Chicago billed as the “Middle School Science Summit on Evolution,” was co-sponsored by AAAS and The Field Museum. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth, students explored the museum’s halls and delved into its collections. They also learned about evolution from Darwin interpreter Brian “Fox” Ellis. In character as a young Darwin, Ellis shared tales from the naturalist’s explorations with more than 200 Chicago-area middle school students.

Public Science Day 2008 - Boston introduced students across Boston to cutting edge research at local universities. Scientists and engineers hosted the fourth and fifth grade students, whose schools were already involved with several local initiatives including Boston Mayor Menino’s Step-up, NSF GK12 projects and the Boston Science Partnership.

Public Science Day 2007 - San Francisco took place at the California Academy of Sciences, where 1,000 San Francisco school children interacted with Academy staff, learning about the diversity of animals inhabiting our Earth.

Public Science Day 2006 - St. Louis took place at the Saint Louis Science Center, where over 1,200 students from the St. Louis Public and Parochial school systems took a close look at the science involved in everyday living.

Public Science Day 2005 - Washington DC held at the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C., engaged 1,000 students in science, mathematics, and technology activities. At the AAAS headquarters University of Maryland John S. Toll Professor of Physics Dr. James Gates spoke to 175 high school students about pursing careers in science.

Public Science Day 2004 - Seattle held at the Pacific Science Center, connected over 1,200 Seattle Area students with engineering students from the University of Washington’s Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Program. Students also met with scientists in order to learn more about what they do and about careers in science.