Children in Science: Lectures in public Libraries

This project serves as an immersive, socially-embedded training ground for young scientists, exposing them to the challenges and rewards of translating science and working with underserved communities. Arizona State University undergraduate students deliver a library-based, afterschool program that provides science education, specifically health-based science, to underserved Phoenix youth, ages 8-14.  Students provide mentorship as well as leading lessons and activities. They create a supportive, learning environment and provide positive reinforcement to participants. Interns receive college credit for delivering the program.

Libraries, as safe public spaces, are re-envisioned as active learning sites. The program provides a series of 11 active, hands-on lessons in the science of health and promoting better health behaviors. These lessons actively translate scientific knowledge in a format that engages youth and promotes learning.


What will it achieve?

This program provides on-the-ground training to undergraduate student-scientists in translating and delivering science education in real-life scenarios. The focus is on applied science, specifically health-related science, allowing students to present information in a personally relevant and interesting format.

It also offers access to science education and learning in high-need, low-income neighborhoods. The  libraries fall within Arizona’s 7th Congressional District; 432nd out of the nation’s 436 congressional districts in terms of educational opportunities and attainment  Half of the district’s children under age 18 live below the federal poverty line. The district is also racially and ethnically diverse. Literacy rates are low in these neighborhoods, and students often struggle with math and science skills. The program supplements existing library programming and complements afterschool education programs in the area, expanding reach into communities of need.