• Science Action Club participant with butterfly net and petri dish
    Science Action Club activates the citizen scientist in every curious kid.
  • werwer
    Hands-on, science standards-aligned activities get middle-schoolers outside and exploring their world.
  • SAC educators atop the Academy's Living Roof
    High-quality training resources transform afterschool educators into science ambassadors.
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In-depth science in out-of-school time

Kids crave hands-on, feet-in-the-mud, look-under-rocks science. Recognizing the shortage of high-quality science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs for young people—especially those in underserved communities—the Academy launched Science Action Club (SAC) in 2011 to bring exciting, interactive science experiences to middle-schoolers nationwide.

By cultivating young people's innate curiosity about the natural world while honing their observational and analytical skills, SAC is empowering the next generation of science professionals and environmental ambassadors.

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Real experiments designed by Academy experts

Girls dissecting an owl pellet

From conducting sky surveys and collecting insect specimens to assessing habitat health, SAC activities, experiments, and games get kids out in nature and contributing real observations to sustainability research.

The Academy’s trusted role as a museum, research institution, and educational trailblazer helps keep SAC’s curriculum materials cutting-edge and informed by emerging trends and best practices in environmental education.

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Positive outcomes for participants and the planet

Citizen Science Day

Since debuting in the Bay Area in 2011, Science Action Club is now active in over 400 communities, reaching over 62,000 youth and educators from Anchorage to Albany. A 2019 post-participation survey proves the high impact of SAC curriculum:

  • 88% of youth report "I enjoy the activities we do in SAC.”

  • 92% of youth report “Learning about science can help me better understand the natural world.”

  • 96% of activity leaders report they “feel able to help youth connect with the natural world.”

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Awards and accolades for Science Action Club

Brandon Hall Group Gold Award logo

We're proud to announce that Science Action Club has won two coveted Brandon Hall Group Gold awards for Excellence in Learning!

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In their own words

Read about SAC’s profound impact on a student, trainer, and activity leader.
Mariah Jenkins

Mariah Jenkins, SAC alumna

"It is one thing to be told, 'Coleopterists study these beetles.' And it is another thing to be handed a net and told to go out and collect the beetles yourself. I realized that learning can be more than getting a lecture and answering questions about it. I was shown that you can experience learning outside of the classroom and on your own."

Donna

Donna Frey, Program Director, Anaheim Achieves

"In my 30 years working in YMCA after-school programs, this is by far the most interactive and exciting program we have ever offered to our students. The kids are loving the schoolyard safari and can’t wait to see what is in store for them next semester."

 

Thomas Azzarella loading up a SAC bug kit

Thomas Azzarella, Director, Alaska Afterschool Network

"Science Action Club allows kids to actively take on the scientific research process and apply it to their local environment, where they live. It's about giving kids—no matter where they are—access to science."

 

We thank our donors
Pisces Foundation, Genentech, Science Sandbox logos
The Science Action Club program is generously supported by the Pisces Foundation; Genentech; Hearst Endowed Fund for Science Education; Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation; and Jacques M. Littlefield Foundation.

Support Our Work

Life-changing programs like Science Action Club depend on contributions from donors like you. We thank you for your support!