Independent science research is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn the true nature of science and experience the thrill of discovery. By entering their work into science research competitions, students gain additional skills such as learning how to write a scientific journal article and how to present their work to peers, scientists and the public. Just completing the rigorous application process can inspire confidence in their scientific abilities and lead them to consider a STEM career. Many of these competitions provide monetary awards for post-secondary education and can boost a student’s chance of acceptance into the college or university of their choice. In many cases, students have the opportunity to meet others that share their enthusiasm for science, and those connections carry over into their college and scientific careers. Too few underrepresented students are presented with these opportunities and the know-how to successfully enter.
The Society Advocate Grant provides a stipend to an individual (teacher, counselor, mentor), who agrees to serve as an advocate for 3-5 underrepresented students (African-American, Latino, Native American, low income) to transition them from conducting a scientific or engineering research project to completing applications to scientific competition(s). The individual agrees to support the students by prompting them and communicating to them about possible research competitions and relevant deadlines, and to support the gathering and writing of the required elements of an application. (It is not intended that this individual be conversant in the research subject, but rather navigates the process of application with the student.) The Society runs several science research competitions, including the Intel Science Talent Search, Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, and Broadcom MASTERS, but participants may also choose outside science research competitions.
Eligibility of Advocate:
Individuals must be 21 years or older and be employed by a school, university, organization or corporation that has established a relationship with students in a manner appropriately sanctioned and approved by legal guardians. Open to individuals living or working in the U.S. and U.S. Territories.
Eligibility of Students:
Students must be from a population traditionally underserved in STEM education and careers (African - American, Latino, Native American, low income), and enrolled in a pre-collegiate program in grades 6-11. They must have conducted a research project within the last six months or be actively engaged in a project with the intent and interest to apply for a competition in the coming school year. The competition(s) entered should be relevant to the research conducted.
Preference will be given to applicants who:
- Submit cogent plans that will facilitate consistent and effective contact with the student through the project submission process
- Have been vetted by an existing organization, school or government entity and are cleared to work with students
- Have some familiarity or experience with science research competitions and have demonstrated success working with youth at their organizations
- Can devote the greatest attention to this program and the success of these students
The stipend will be provided to the coordinator in three installments of $1,000 each:
- One during recruitment of participants and preparation for competition throughout the research experience (Spring and Summer – dates vary by program)
- One after the research experience is concluded and coordinators are guiding students through the application process and training them on how to write up their research (Summer and Fall)
- One after a minimum of three students have entered competitions (dates vary by program)