In the DC metropolitan area, numerous scientific organizations offer programs that provide science education and outreach to local communities, in addition to the STEM fair events listed on our website. The following programs have come to our attention; they deserve your participation and support. If you are aware of other such programs, please contact us!
Washington DC Programs
The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society, hosts its annual meeting in February with symposia featuring many of the world’s leading scientists. Register now for this inspiring event!
AAAS Family Science Days
A free, very popular public event that offers an array of hands-on family and child-friendly activities. It is held during the AAAS Annual Meeting in February. Family Science Days features interactive booths appropriate for K-12 youths and their families, highlighting diverse areas of science, as well as a live stage show and the opportunity to talk with scientists.
AAAS STEM Volunteer Program
An organization of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals who volunteer in K-12 classrooms in the Washington DC metro area. Join them!
Carnegie Academy for Science Education
The Carnegie Academy for Science Education (CASE) is the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s K-12 education arm and is housed within the institution’s headquarters. Since 1989, CASE programs have served more than 800 students and 1,000 teachers in DC.
LabX is an NAS public engagement testbed that boldly experiments with a variety of creative – sometimes even unorthodox – approaches designed to reach diverse audiences. They routinely tinker with new ideas and programs but have demonstrated a special fondness for STEM-based games of all kinds, short videos featuring fun people doing cool science things, and Instagram posts showcasing surprising science stories. LabX is geared toward undergraduate college students in STEM fields.
National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a private, non-profit society of distinguished scholars. Established by an Act of Congress, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. The NAS often hosts public lectures in its main building on Constitution Avenue.
Smithsonian Science Education Center
Based in Washington, D.C., SSEC is the only unit at the Smithsonian Institution dedicated to K-12 education advancement. Backed by both the Smithsonian Institution and the National Academy of Sciences, the center has developed a K-8 curriculum program; in addition, the center has outlined a unique model known as Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) to assist schools in creating the infrastructure needed to increase student achievement in STEM.
Science and Engineering Apprentice Program (SEAP) a program created by George R. Carruthers in the 1980s, is now managed by the American Society for Engineering Education. The program places academically talented high school students in Navy research laboratories for eight weeks each summer. There, the students work closely with scientists and engineers who serve as mentors. The Chemistry Division of the Naval Research Laboratory has been one of the laboratories that consistently provides an inspiring environment for the young apprentices. SEAP is providing competitive research internships to 300 high school students this year. Participating students spend eight weeks during the summer doing research at 35 Navy laboratories. Every year the apprentices prepare papers and presentations based on their work. Some of the award-winning presentations from 2004 and 2005 are posted here.
USA Science & Engineering Festival
A large and exciting event held in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center every two years. It also sponsors the X-STEM symposium each year for middle and high school students.
Audobon Naturalist Society
The oldest independent environmental organization in the Washington, DC region. They manage two nature sanctuaries: Woodend (Chevy Chase, MD), and Rust (Leesburg, VA). Audobon operates the GreenKids program, a key collaborator on systemic curriculum initiatives for science in Grades 2, 4, and high school.
GreenKids operates in formal partnerships with both Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) in Maryland and Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) in Virginia, serving more than 4,500 students each year. In addition to these students, the GreenKids school garden program, Salad Science, also serves students in the District of Columbia and in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Air Tigers Robotics
With a concern for STEM education for kids in the Lanham and Greenbelt area, in 2019 we formed FIRST Robotics team #8197 to provide mentoring and training in robotics and aerospace projects. Our team of students and mentors has grown significantly, and we now publish papers on some of our research projects online.
Blair High School – Montgomery County Magnet Program
This magnet program for high school seniors gathers many of the most talented science and math students in Montgomery County public schools. WAS traditionally supports this extraordinary STEM fair – judges are needed!
The Biotechnology Institute directs national programs and competitions that reach a wide spectrum of audiences. Whether as a participant, student, sponsor or patron, your involvement in the Institute’s programs builds new connections and enhance the biotechnology community for generations to come. The institute, along with the MdBio Foundation, hosts the Maryland BioGENEius competition.
A K-12 science education program which provides classroom-based learning opportunities through the use of live zebrafish. BioEYES is designed to incorporate teacher empowerment and provides professional development seminars and a co-teaching experience with trained science consultants, called outreach educators. Located at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Baltimore.
Energizing Student Potential (ESP)
A STEM-focused energy program for grades 5 – 8, designed to empower students to explore opportunities in STEM fields and help them discover their own path to innovation through a variety of classroom subjects.
FIRST Robotics Chesapeake District
FIRST Chesapeake uses robots as the vehicle to bring Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)-based leadership enrichment programs and competitions to youth in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
FIRST Robotics Team 4464 – Team Illusion
Based in Greenbelt, MD. Competes in national robotics competitions in association with Bladerunners, Air Tigers and other nearby teams.
Mentors Advancing STEM Education & Research (MASER)
We are a group dedicated to working on complex projects that would otherwise be too advanced for students in Bladerunners or Team Illusion. MASER consists of college students who also mentor the high school and middle school students in Team Illusion in hopes they will follow in their footsteps.
MdBio Foundation sparks interest in life-changing career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for underserved communities. We do this through innovative, effective and experiential STEM education programs for middle school and high school students, and workforce development programs for adults.
Montgomery County Scientists for Kids
A free 30 minutes virtual program, started in April 2020, that is held on Webex for kids. We introduce special guests that present on their STEM careers. STEM careers are based on the fundamental subjects Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The kids will ask questions afterwards, and it will give them a base understanding of the importance of STEM.
National Institute of Science
The National Institute of Science (NIS) is one of the oldest national scientific membership organizations to serve students and staff from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The Annual Meeting of the NIS is held in March in Clinton, MD.
Rockville Science Center
Provides opportunities for people of all ages to experience science and engineering in their daily lives. We offer year round events, including a Science Cafe, Senior Center Tuesday programs, Robotics programs, Explorations tours, summer camps, the Rockville Science Day in April, and a Science Fair in partnership with ScienceMONTGOMERY for middle school and high school students.
Rockville Science Day – April
Features a variety of science and technology-related exhibits, hands-on activities, games and demos . for all ages. Free and open to the public. There is no cost to exhibit. Held at Montgomery College.
Rockville Science Café
Usually meets every third Tuesday of the month. It features a scientist engaging and leading a discussion that encourages conversation, debate, and interaction. Free and open to the public.
STEM-Link is a collection of 16 STEM organizations in Maryland devoted to STEM education through public school programs, science fairs and expos, robotics, engineering and math programs, internships and scholarships.
Northern Virginia Programs
The Arlington STEM Volunteer Program aims to foster STEM literacy for all students and help prepare students for futures in STEM careers. An affiliate of the AAAS/SSE STEM Volunteer Program, program professionals commit to volunteering in a school throughout the school year to assist K-12 STEM teachers in their classrooms.
The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE)
A non-profit organization based in McLean, VA that nurtures high school and university scholars to careers of excellence and leadership in STEM, and encourages collaboration between and among scientific and technological leaders in the global community.
It includes the Research Science Institute (for high school juniors), the USA Biolympiad, a Teacher Enrichment Program and STEM Lyceums.
Children’s Science Center
The center, which operates at Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, Va., holds a variety of workshops, classes and demonstrations in areas such as the science of music, computer science and nanotechnology.
Everybody Code Now!
A national youth-run nonprofit empowers the next generation of leaders by teaching them basic programming skills.
Fairfax Collegiate Summer Program
Offers 120 courses in fields such as mathematics, engineering, test prep, programming and robotics. Over 3,000 students attended the program last year, at locations throughout the Northern Virginia area – making it the largest STEM program in the area. Course registration details are here.
Brings teachers and community leaders together to collaborate on ways to improve early childhood education and school preparedness among students throughout Fairfax County.
Girls In Technology
Led by a committee of Women in Technology, and sponsored by STEM for Her, Girls in Technology works to inspire girls in grades 4 to 12 to learn about careers in STEM areas.
In 1989 former U.S. Navy officer Robert Ballard founded JASON Learning, an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit to help students and teachers alike strengthen their knowledge of STEM-related subjects. Online learning curricula place students in daunting, real-life scenarios that they can navigate alongside leading STEM professionals.
Robotics for Youth
Run by a group of young engineers, Robotics for Youth teaches students the basics of robotics engineering. The team of mentors, located at schools nationwide, coaches students in technologies such as the EV3 and NXT robotics kits; Arduino (an open-source electronic prototyping platform for creating interactive electronic objects); the VEX Robotics Design System; and the Raspberry Pi, a low-cost, credit-card sized computer.
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
A magnet school in Fairfax County, VA. Well known around the DC area for its high-achieving students, who often serve as interns in science labs and agencies in the area.
If you know of other local STEM educational programs in the DC metro area, please contact us!