64 Selected for New STEM Professional School Partnership Program (SPSP)

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jon Waterhouse, Lenz, Inc., 678.770.9561, [email protected]
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64 Educators and STEM Professionals Selected for Science ATL’s New STEM Professional School Partnership Program (SPSP)

IF/THEN and Science ATL Partner To Create Year-Long Program For Local Atlanta Schools and STEM Entities To Enrich Science Education

September 18, 2020 (Atlanta, GA)Science ATL, in partnership with IF/THEN®, a national initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies® which seeks to advance women in STEM, announced today they are launching “STEM Professional School Partnership Program” (SPSP). This new program, partially funded through a grant from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) IF/THEN Ambassadors program, was created to enrich science education in classrooms around metro Atlanta.

“Now more than ever, our schools need the community’s support,” says Jordan Rose, executive co-director of Science ATL. “Instead of one-and-done classroom visits by scientists, the SPSP program fosters stronger partnerships by cultivating repeated interactions and longer-term relationships between schools and STEM companies and universities. The result will be schools’ increased capacity for STEM partnerships, and more meaningful exposure to STEM topics and careers for students.”

Co-founded by Science ATL and Atlanta-based AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador Paula Garcia Todd, SPSP pairs 32 STEM professionals to 32 K-12 schools in Atlanta for a year of monthly interactions, reaching more than 10,000 students and creating a flexible framework to strengthen long-term STEM partnerships. The participating schools come from eight metro Atlanta school districts (Atlanta, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton, Marietta City, and Rockdale), and include elementary, middle, and high schools. For a complete list of participants, see http://scienceatl.org/spsp. To help more students see themselves as future STEM professionals, the program has recruited a diverse group of scientists and engineers, including 63% women, 53% Black/African-American, and 16% Hispanic/Latinx STEM professionals.

Each educator and STEM professional pair will implement 7-10 classroom or school engagement activities that support the STEM efforts within the selected schools. These efforts will be guided by goals centered around school needs and the resources the STEM professional can leverage from their personal/professional networks. The program supports participants through monthly newsletters, quarterly professional development webinars, and a supply budget to support partnership activities including reimbursement for field trip travel and activity supplies.

“We are excited to introduce students to the many everyday applications of STEM, and to positive role models who are improving their communities through their STEM skills,” says Paula Garcia Todd, AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador and Global Strategic Manager, DuPont. “While we hope students will be inspired to pursue a STEM career, we are confident the program will create more curious problem solvers and lifelong learners, ready to tackle tomorrow’s challenges.”

The AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassador program brings together 125 women from a variety of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers to serve as high-profile role models for middle school girls. STEM professionals use their skills in many fields – including research and development, sports and recreation, finance, fashion, gaming, engineering and manufacturing, entertainment, healthcare, retail, music, and more. More information can be found by visiting https://www.aaas.org/page/ifthen-ambassadors.

To find out more about the STEM Professional School Partnership Program, visit https://scienceatl.org/spsp/.

Science ATL is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing people together through the wonder of science. Through public events and community programs, Science ATL fosters a love of science, builds community around science, and enables equitable access to science learning opportunities. The mission began in 2014 with the Atlanta Science Festival, co-founded by Emory University, Georgia Tech, and the Metro Atlanta Chamber. This annual two-week event, presented by Delta Air Lines, has brought science programming to more than 250,000 people in metro Atlanta. Additional Science ATL initiatives increase public interest in and appreciation of science in Atlanta with easy access points to science, technology, engineering and math throughout the year. More at http://scienceatl.org

IF/THEN® is part of Lyda Hill Philanthropies’ commitment to fund game-changing advancements in science and nature. IF/THEN® seeks to further advance women in STEM by empowering current innovators and inspiring the next generation of pioneers. Rooted in a firm belief that there is no better time to highlight positive and successful female professional role models, IF/THEN® is designed to activate a culture shift among young girls to open their eyes to STEM careers by: (1) funding and elevating women in STEM as role models, (2) convening cross-sector partners in entertainment, fashion, sports, business and academia to illuminate the importance of STEM everywhere, and (3) inspiring girls with better portrayals of women in STEM through media and learning experiences to pique their interest in STEM careers. To learn more, visit www.ifthenshecan.org or follow IF/THEN® on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Lyda Hill Philanthropies encompasses the charitable giving of founder Lyda Hill who believes that “science is the answer” to life’s most challenging issues and is committed to funding transformational advances in science and nature. To learn more, visit www.lydahillphilanthropies.org

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Building an Equitable Community

The team at Science ATL has been doing some soul-searching. Earlier this year, before the pandemic, we embarked on a strategic planning journey to more clearly articulate our goals, metrics for success, and action steps to get there. This continues to be a work in progress, but we are pleased to share Science ATL’s key pillars: fostering a love of science, building community around science, and enabling equitable access to science learning opportunities throughout metro Atlanta.

As we imagine what kind of community we would like to build, and how best to expand equitable access to science learning, we recognize that we are missing voices – including Black voices – in crafting these strategies. Science ATL is committed to operationalizing equity and inclusion as part of our mission to build community around science, and we are committed to deepening our equity efforts with Atlanta’s Black community.

Starting in September, we are taking two steps to build a more equitable community: 1) we have joined the international Of/By/For All Change Network that supports civic and cultural organizations in becoming representative of, co-created by, and welcoming for their diverse communities; and 2) we are working with community engagement consultant Nasim Fluker and Purpose Possible to build organizational structures and initiatives built on sustained inclusion of community voices and input about community needs. These efforts will help us to review current initiatives and inform new ones through the lens of equitable access, and to amplify Black voices in our community related to science and STEM education.

Science ATL has always valued equitable access to science learning opportunities, and our work with Title I schools, in zip codes with low Child Well-Being ratings, and with diverse community partners has helped to build an inclusive community around science in Atlanta since our founding in 2014. But we are so excited to dive into more intentional work to listen to, engage with, and celebrate Black communities in Atlanta.


Special thanks to our friends and advisors who have helped to guide our thinking: Tjuan Dogan, Cheryl Kortemeier, Jamal Jesse, Natalie King, Ann Cramer, Kimberlin Bolton, Errika Moore, Sabrina Gomez, Daniel Aguirre, Ayana Gabriel, and David Jackson.

Science Is For Everyone

At Science ATL, we believe that science is for everyone.

These past few weeks have highlighted how the American perception of “everyone” often does not include Black Americans, whose voices and lives are devalued time and again. The scientific community is part of the problem of systemic racism in our country, yet there are groups who are actively working to make change. These organizations are striving to improve access to science learning opportunities, increase representation amongst scientific leaders, and reduce barriers that prevent people from feeling science can be for them.

The scientific community is part of the problem of systemic racism in our country, yet there are groups who are actively working to make change.

We are proud to partner with many of these organizations and encourage you to learn more about, support, and participate in the work they do. Stay tuned to our social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) as we share about each of these organizations in the coming weeks.

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation – With a focus on Black neighborhoods on the Westside, the Blank Foundation is making change by providing resources and helping to build community. We are grateful to their support for our Georgia Chief Science Officer program where we are empowering youth to lead STEM education and community change efforts.

Brown Toy Box – A local company spearheaded by the awesome Terri-Nichelle Bradley that works to make science, technology, engineering, arts & math (STEAM) accessible, representative and fun for Black children. We are proud to partner with Terri on a project funded by the United Way to provide her STEAM kits and Science ATL passports to hundreds of underserved elementary students this summer. You can also find her kits for sale on the Brown Toy Box website.

The Gathering Spot – We were excited to partner with The Gathering Spot for the 2020 Atlanta Science Festival on an event on Black entrepreneurship in the tech world. The Gathering Spot is a club designed to unite and build community amongst the next generation of industry and tech leaders, fostering community and relationships amongst people of different backgrounds.

Historic Westside Garden – Revitalizing the Historic Westside Neighborhoods of Atlanta through the power of home food gardening, the Historic Westside Garden has partnered with us and a team from Emory University the past two years to help teach about the science behind soil and gardening at the Atlanta Science Festival.

re:imagine/ATL – With a focus on diversity, inclusion, and storytelling, re:imagine/ATL trains, equips and inspires young people to build careers in the creative and digital media industries.

Science Creations – With a focus on hands-on learning, Science Creations works to bring science to life with science shows and STEAM kits. The team has done a lot of work in low-income communities, reducing barriers to science by making workshops and shows affordable for all.

Science for Georgia – Science for Georgia was birthed out of the March for Science, and since then, the team has united scientists around the state who communicate and celebrate the ways science can help solve many of our state and world’s most significant problems by breaking down barriers that distance many people from feeling part of the scientific community. Their Science Tales & Trails program focuses on highlighting disparities in environmental justice.

STEM Gems – Rockstar engineer and author Stephanie Espy has made it her mission to show young women that the STEM fields aren’t just for men. Through her book, camp, academic coaching and more, she has worked hard to provide better representation and role models. We’re proud to have had a STEM Gem event at nearly every Atlanta Science Festival.

The Story Collider – This live show and podcast dedicated to sharing true, personal stories about science has been at every Atlanta Science Festival since our first one in 2014. Since then, Atlanta has been lucky enough to be one of the cities hosting regular shows throughout the year. The Story Collider has a mission to collect stories from as many different voices as possible, including stories of Black science, joy and life. Find playlists of these stories here.

The Village Tutorial – A recipient of one of our mini-grants to develop Festival programming, the Village Tutorial aims to remediate and enrich the talents of children from diverse backgrounds through the creation of global awareness and respect for diverse cultures and people.

West Atlanta Watershed Alliance – This community based non-profit uses the glory of nature and working to protect, preserve and restore it to improve the quality of life for Black neighborhoods in Northwest and Southwest Atlanta. WAWA has partnered with Science ATL annually for an incredible outdoor STEAM event annually at the Atlanta Science Festival.

500 Women Scientists – This national grassroots organization has a pod here in Atlanta whom we’ve partnered with for Atlanta Science Festival events. Their mission is to make science more open, inclusive, and accessible, and transform society by fighting racism, patriarchy, and oppressive societal norms. See resources on their website for scientists supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

United Way of Greater Atlanta – With their support for our Georgia Chief Science Officer program and helping us send Science ATL Passports to low-income families, United Way of Greater Atlanta is serving communities in Atlanta that need it most. The charity’s work in tracking child well-being data and working to improve that across the city is making a huge difference for Black residents in the city.

YMCA of Metro Atlanta – We are proud to be a partner of this organization that works to meet the most critical needs of our communities everyday but especially in times of crisis. Not only have we worked with the YMCA team to produce Festival events, we also partnered with them to distribute several hundred of our Science ATL Passports to help provide out of school science learning to underserved communities when the coronavirus crisis struck.

Virtual STEM Day: A Recipe For Success

by the Georgia Chief Science Officers

School is different now. We are all making adjustments in how we teach, learn, and interact. So while we are Zoom-ing, Teams-ing, and HangOut-ing (Hanging Out?), let’s keep Georgia schools’ annual STEM Day tradition alive! Before school is out, you can host your own Virtual STEM Day for your community.

As Georgia Chief Science Officers, we are a group of middle and high school students leading community efforts to enhance STEM awareness and participation among youth. We know you are still hungry for STEM, so we’re sharing a menu of options to make your Virtual STEM Day delicious and nutritious. If you are a student like we are, you can lead the effort. Reach out to your teachers and propose a Virtual STEM Day. As we say in the CSO program: don’t just hope it happens, #MakeItHappen!

What is STEM Day?

Since 2013, the Technology Association of Georgia – Education Collaborative (TAG-Ed) has been leading a statewide campaign to encourage schools and classrooms to host STEM/STEAM programming on the first Friday in May. No matter the date, or if it’s one hour, one day, or a whole week of STEM activities, the point is to make a focused celebration on STEM. Of course, many of you are doing STEM activities as part of your coursework – think of STEM Day as an opportunity to do something you couldn’t do as part of your classes, a co-curricular activity that enriches our understanding of how STEM is applied in the real world. STEM Day can help students connect with local STEM professionals and businesses, realizing the local career opportunities available in STEM fields and the real-world problems being addressed through STEM work. STEM Day can be a chance for students to build, experiment, create, and test their ideas.

A Virtual STEM Day can be all of these things – just taking place on your school’s online learning platform. Many schools have their own enterprise-wide online platform that ensures privacy and security for students and educators. If your school has its own Zoom, Google, or Microsoft Teams, for example, this would be the ideal platform on which to host your Virtual STEM Day. If your school does not have something like this, you can organize an asynchronous STEM Day, in which students participate independently, on their own time, in their own ways. In this scenario, you (as the organizer), would put together a list of activities and share it with your community. Students would complete the activities on their own time. You may wish to consider a way for participants to submit evidence of completion by a certain deadline, with some kind of award for motivation.

Prepare, Promote, and Share

Get a complete Zoom tutorial, and discover 7 Tips to Zoom like a pro. Don’t forget to check your security settings to protect student privacy – here are some tips to prevent Zoom-bombing. Whatever your school or district platform of choice, you can find a way to connect, build community, and celebrate STEM together.

On behalf of the student leaders at the Georgia Chief Science Officers program, we wish you and your students a happy and satisfying Virtual STEM Day! Don’t forget to share what you’re doing with: #GASTEMDay #MakeItHappen @Georgia_CSO, and @ScienceATL


Some dishes will require advanced planning or even pre-work from your students, others are truly plug-and-play. Pick and choose the dishes that will make your Virtual STEM Day the most appetizing to your palate. Bon appetit!


(activities that take less than an hour)

Make it Fun

Host a costume contest or theme for your Virtual STEM Day. Have students dress up as their favorite scientist, or assign everyone an element of the periodic table and have them come in costume (based on the element’s characteristics, real-world use, etc.). Do the same with planets, macromolecules, physics equations, simple machines. Vote on the best costumes.

Citizen Science

You don’t need to BE a scientist to DO science. Join the worldwide movement to participate in the collection of scientific data! Discover new ways that proteins can fold and help scientists design better therapies for HIV and cancer (FoldIt!). Identify plants and animals in your neighborhood with the iNaturalist app. Help scientists find clogged blood vessels in the brain scans of Alzheimer’s patients (StallCatchers).

April is Citizen Science Month – but the science doesn’t stop in May. Keep it going with resources from Science ATL on how to do citizen science, including tutorials and suggestions for project ideas to get you started. On your Virtual STEM Day, watch a tutorial together, and have students choose one of a couple projects, spend 20 minutes on their own completing the task, then come back together and report out! Citizen science projects and apps are great ways to get involved in REAL science from your own home.


The Japanese haiku is three-line poem of 5-7-5 syllables, and the sciku is a science haiku and an annual Atlanta Science Festival tradition. It doesn’t have to rhyme, but it should tell a story about what inspires and moves you about science. Write about your favorite science topic, a question you’ve always been curious about, or what wows you about the natural world. Consider a public health message to your neighborhood, or translate CDC guidance into verse, or offer a message of hope and comfort to people affected by coronavirus, or a word of support to healthcare workers.

On your Virtual STEM Day, students can write and submit their science haikus and vote on the best ones (type it into the chat box, or write it out in marker on paper and hold it up to the webcam). Or head outside to chalk it on their driveway or sidewalk. Then post and tag it with @AtlSciFest, #AtHomeSciFest, and #SciKu.

Science Snacks

Hungry for fresh, exciting science activities based in amazing phenomena? The Exploratorium’s Science Snacks are hands-on, teacher-tested, and use cheap, available materials. Satisfy your curiosity without ever getting full.


(more extensive activities)

Career talks

Invite a STEM professional to give a talk about his/her career. You can contact your local university/college or business partners. When inviting professionals, be brief and polite. Explain who you are, what you expect from them (e.g, a 15-minute talk about your career plus 10-minute Q&A session via Zoom with 120 middle school students on Thursday May 7), why it is important to you, and when you’d like to hear back. Say “thank you for your consideration”!

Science ATL can help you find a STEM professional for your Virtual STEM Day event. We will match you with a STEM professional and it will be your responsibility to figure out when and how to connect them to your Virtual STEM Day. Be sure to test the online platform with your STEM professional prior to the day of – your platform may limit access to school students and employees. To make a request, complete this form by May 8. We will do our best to fulfill requests in the order in which they are received. Limited dates/times/professionals are available.

To get you started, here are a few pre-recorded STEM professionals in recent Zoom calls with middle and high school Chief Science Officers from around the world:

Or, have students research STEM careers on their own and report-out to the group what they discovered.


Jazz up your Virtual STEM Day with a Coding Dance Party, or see how artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can be used to address world problems. Schedule an Hour of Code activity!

Whether they’re completely new to coding or have significant confidence in the subject, any student can gain a few skills through trying out the Girls Who Code – Code At Home activities. There are different levels of difficulty so you can organize breakout rooms to help mentor students of similar experience level through completing the activity. Make sure to post your work on social media.

Hack Club Workshops guide students through creating projects like websites, simple easels, and games, with a focus on customization and make each project unique to the creator. They’re very entertaining and user friendly – give it a try.

Cooking Challenge

How can your students harness the power of the sun using a few household materials? By building solar ovens. Have students collect materials and sketch designs on their own, then host a virtual building race to see who can get their design up and running in the time given. Check out the info at Teach Engineering’s Cooking With The Sun or ShareIt Science’s Solar Oven Design Challenge to plan your event. Or join Atlanta chef/educator Asata Reid for one of her live online cooking classes for kids.

Design Challenges

Develop a design challenge around one or more of the Grand Challenges of Engineering or the Grand Challenges of Social Work or the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. Pick one or more challenges and guide teams of students through the Engineering Design Process to create, prototype, test or get feedback on, and then refine a solution to the challenge.

COVID-19 Learning Resources

For COVID-19 science learning, a good place to start is this comic for kids – they can even print it out and make it into an 8-page zine (a great skill to apply to other projects). BrainPOP has a decent 4.5 minute kid-focused video that covers the same topics (a bit of biology, explaining quarantine and social distancing, contextualizing the media’s response, recommendation to direct additional questions to parents and trusted sources like WHO, etc.). For more advanced learners, Georgia Science Teachers Association has posted a phenomenon on the genomic epidemiology of COVID-19 with lesson resources to their phenomenon bank. Of course there are many more resources, including these we like:

You can use STEM Day to host a scientific reading hour for students. The reading series A Kids Book About has partnered with epidemiologist Malia Jones to create a free ebook explaining COVID-19 to students. Host a STEM book review where students can listen to excerpts of the book and share their feelings and understandings about the virus. For K-2 learners, teachers Naomi O’Brien & LaNesha Tabb have created an interactive eBook called What Is a Pandemic? that includes several hands-on activities to help younger students get a better handle on the current climate.


(activities that can be done by students on their own)

Virtual Museum Tours

Experience the world of STEM at home with your students through a virtual field trip. Want to explore locally? ATL Museums At Home is a partnership of Atlanta’s top museums and cultural attractions. Sign your students up for a Field Trip Friday!

The Smithsonian also offers virtual tours of its museum complex. Explore biology with your students with the Smithsonian Natural History Virtual Tour, or explore aviation with the Smithsonian Air & Space Virtual Tour.

Denise Farney, a 7th/8th grade science teacher at Longfellow Middle School, Lorain, OH, has curated a list of 30 Plus Field Trips: Mars, Critter Cams, and More! The extensive list covers multiple STEAM experiences that connect students to museums around the world through partnerships with some of the most well known parks, museums, zoos and aquariums.

Community service

Discuss how students can take action to support the community during the COVID-19 crisis. Present some options, and provide opportunity for students to commit to actions. For example, join one of our Chief Science Officer’s project to sew and distribute fabric masks to healthcare and essential workers in metro Atlanta. Sign up to help at http://scienceatl.org/masks

Or think more broadly – review and discuss The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World, based on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, and have each student commit to one action.

Spanish Resources

Ciencia Puerto Rico has a number of free STEM lessons in Spanish and live scientific conversations in Spanish, with STEM grad students and experts from the Ciencia Puerto Rico network.

Other Resources


Enjoy your meal and don’t forget to share what you’re doing with #GASTEMDay #MakeItHappen @Georgia_CSO @ScienceATL

April is Citizen Science Month!

April is Citizen Science Month Graphic.

Did you enjoy our #AtHomeSciFest last month? Now you can join the worldwide movement to participate in the collection of scientific data! You don’t need to BE a scientist to DO science. These citizen science projects and apps are great ways to get involved in REAL science. Laboratory not required.

What is Citizen Science?

As we face global challenges, we may want to find local ways to make a difference in protecting endangered species, safeguarding water sources, preventing disease, or accelerating medical research. Science needs more eyes, ears and perspectives than any scientist possesses. Enter citizen science: a collaboration between scientists and those of us
who are just curious or concerned and motivated to make a difference. Citizen science is an invitation to everyone to participate in real science–on topics they care about–following protocols for data collection, analysis, and reporting. Citizen science can be fun, but it is also serious science that accelerates research.

Citizen Science Month is presented by SciStarter, National Library of Medicine, School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University, Citizen Science Association, Science Friday, and National Geographic.

How to be a Citizen Scientist

Citizen Science Projects for All Ages

  • Get started on projects to help gather light pollution data, track the flu, report litter in your neighborhood, document change in weather and climate, and help Alzheimer’s researchers analyze blood flow in brain images. (from SciStarter and the National Library of Medicine)
  • Identify plants, animals, fungi, and microorganisms around you with the iNaturalist app. Your observations contribute to real research on biodiversity. Do this during Atlanta City Nature Challenge April 24-27, 2020 to help our city document its biodiversity. Or use Seek, the kid-friendly version which does not collect user information.
  • STEAMSquad.org, a series of online books/projects through which kids can learn about citizen science, do citizen science and engage topics related to science curriculum goals for grades 5,6 and 7.
  • Urban Kings Project – help local researchers learn more about King Snakes in metro Atlanta by reporting your sightings.
  • Join the Earth Challenge 2020 for projects to monitor and mitigate threats to environmental and human health in your community.
  • Join the Pollen Nation with CitizenScienceHD to help make a pollen map of Georgia.
  • Solve puzzles for science with FoldIt (including a new coronavirus puzzle)
  • Go birding while social distancing.

Upcoming Project Webinars

Register for these webinars and check out more virtual science events at our Science Scene calendar:

  • Let’s Clear the Air! April 8, 3 PM. Dive into this crash course on the basics of measuring air quality, atmospheric composition, the Air Quality Index, and air pollution’s impact on health. Join Calvin Cupini, the Citizen Science Program Manager of Clean Air Carolina, for the first of a multi-part introduction to air quality and citizen science.
  • Do Science While Stargazing. April 9, 3 PM. SciStarter and Astronomy Magazine will introduce you to three scientists leading astronomy-related projects that need your help! Learn how to monitor light pollution by identifying stars in the constellation, record streaks from satellites, and trace online images of galaxies to measure curvatures. Astronomy Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief will moderate this online event.
  • What’s In Your Water? April 10, 4 PM. Is the water in local streams and the pipes in your home safe for you and other living things? Find out how to investigate in this webinar featuring citizen science you can do in and around your home. Project scientists from EarthEcho, Stream Selfie, and Crowd the Tap will guide you.
  • Fight COVID-19 from Home. April 15, 3 PM. SciStarter and Discover Magazine will introduce you to three scientists leading COVID-19 projects that need your help! Learn how to identify behaviors that influence risk; crowdsource the COVID-19 pandemic in real time; and play an online game to fold and design proteins for scientific research. Discover Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief will moderate this online event.

More Ideas for Science at Home

Check out our Science Scene calendar for upcoming virtual events, and #AtHomeSciFest campaign for more great ideas to learn and do science at home, including our #SciKu science haiku project! Why not do a citizen science activity, and then write a haiku about your experience! Don’t forget to share your science at #AtHomeSciFest #CitSciMonth #CitizenScience and tag us @ScienceATL.

Keep Atlanta Curious!

Your support is building a curious community in metro Atlanta. We need science fans like you to get involved and stay involved. Sign up to volunteer or partner with us on events. Make a donation in honor of your favorite science fan, or shop exclusive Science ATL and Atlanta Science Festival merch in our online store (proceeds benefit our educational initiatives). Science ATL Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing people together through the wonder of science. Thanks!

Gifts for Science Lovers

Gifts for Science Lovers

Whether you need a gift for the science enthusiast in your life, or just want to treat yourself to the gift of knowledge, Atlanta’s Lead Explore (ALEX) has you covered. Check out ALEX’s favorite gifts for science lovers, including books, magazines, and more!


Science books for kids

We love reading and have had many authors visit over the years at the Atlanta Science Festival. ALEX’s list below includes books by our ASF author friends and many more. Stop by one of Atlanta’s local independent bookstores to buy them for your favorite science lover or check them out online. For even more ideas, see the National Science Teachers Association’s list of Outstanding Science Trade Books.

For younger science fans:

Science Books for Adults

For older science enthusiasts:

If you want to keep the science going all year round, consider one of ALEX’s favorite magazines!

MAGAZINES (Print and Online)

Science magazines for all ages

CLICK® Magazine (3-6)

ASK® Magazine (6-9)

MUSE® Magazine (9-14)

National Geographic Kids and National Geographic Little Kids (3-9)

Discover (14+)

Ars Technica (14+)


If you’ve read as much science as you can and want some other gift ideas, ALEX has a few picks for the household that help save the earth and the species that live here.


Shop Science ATL and Atlanta Science Festival Merch

You can now shop exclusive Science ATL and Atlanta Science Festival merch online! Grab your “Science Y’all” t-shirts and commemorative Atlanta Science Festival shirts and merchandise to celebrate local STEM/STEAM in Atlanta! Shop here.

And always, to keep inspiring curiosity in Atlanta, consider a donation to Science ATL in honor of your favorite science fan. Science ATL Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing people together through the wonder of science.

Explore Your World Through Science with the Science ATL Passport

Science ATL Passport

Science ATL is thrilled to announce the arrival of the Science ATL Passport, thanks to sponsorship from International Paper. The Science ATL Passport invites and encourages kids of all ages to take scientific expeditions close to home.


Where a traditional passport includes space for stamps that indicate your entrance to and exit from a country, this passport offers space to describe and reflect on your experiences with local science, technology, engineering, and math. Each page offers ideas for experiments, activities, or exercises organized around different ways that human beings experience the world around them. There is also a list of unique science adventures around Atlanta.

Find additional Passport resources here.


The Science ATL Passport is currently available at these Fulton Library System Branches:





Wolf Creek

Southeast Atlanta


Once all 32 pages are completed, participants should send passports back to Science ATL to receive a special prize in the mail, along with a new passport.

Send completed passports to:

Science ATL

191 Peachtree Street N.E.

Suite 3400

Atlanta, GA 30303



[email protected]

The Science ATL Passport is printed on 30% post-consumer waste recycled paper. Special thanks to Science ATL sponsor, International Paper, for supplying the recycled paper.

Science ATL Partners with the Science Festival Alliance to Bring the Annual Science Events Summit

Science Events Summit

Science ATL is delighted to partner with the Science Festival Alliance to bring the annual Science Events Summit to Atlanta this June 1 – 2. This is the only professional meeting of its kind, and brings together anyone interested in what happens when people get together in-person in the name of science. Every year the Summit draws professionals and passionate volunteers from across North America to talk shop, share stories, and get re-energized.

We’ll be posting up at the Carter Center and nerding out over ideas of how to bring science into the public sphere. We’ll dive into best practices, evaluation, wacky ideas, and just enjoy the company of people who all exist in this professional space.

Registration for the Summit includes meals served on both days, a great conference dinner, and a ticket to the public event the night before. It’s a great deal, especially if you register before Early Bird rates expire on March 15. As a friend of Science ATL, use our secret discount to get $50 off: ATLfriends

See you at the Summit!

Science ATL Receives International Paper Foundation Grant

Science ATL receives $50,000 grant from International Paper.

The International Paper team (from left to right: Rick Ayers, Louis Salters, Kelvin Simmons, Tom Wissing, Shantel McClendon) presents the grant to Atlanta Science Festival’s mascot, ALEX, and Jordan Rose, executive co-director of Science ATL.

Science ATL Inc. has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the International Paper Foundation. Funds will support Science ATL’s programs to strengthen youth engagement and leadership in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The grant will support the Atlanta Science Festival and expand the Chief Science Officers leadership program and Passport to Science.

“With support from International Paper, we are continuing to bring people together through the wonder of science.”

The Atlanta Science Festival reaches more than 50,000 people annually with two weeks of exciting events at venues across metro Atlanta. At more than 100 events during this year’s Festival from March 6-21, 2020, adults and children alike will meet newts and bees, practice yoga with elephants, hike trails, write code, taste coffee, dig for bones, and discover the science behind roller derby. Representatives from International Paper will showcase the science and technology behind their business at an exhibit booth during the Festival’s free grand finale event: the Exploration Expo at Piedmont Park on March 21.

“With support from International Paper, we are continuing to bring people together through the wonder of science,” said Jordan Rose, co-founder and executive co-director of Science ATL. “It is so important that young people in our community have opportunities to interact with science and engineering professionals at companies like International Paper, recognizing that there are STEM jobs available right here in our backyard.”

The grant will further broaden access to science learning opportunities for disadvantaged communities through Science ATL’s Georgia Chief Science Officers (CSO) and Passport to Science programs. The CSO program empowers middle and high school student leaders to create change in their communities, enhancing STEM awareness and engagement among their peers. As CSOs, students are starting robotics teams and coding clubs, building outdoor classrooms and community food pantries, establishing school recycling programs and hosting family STEM nights at schools throughout metro Atlanta.

Additional support will pilot a family science activity passport in conjunction with the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System. The passport encourages youth to engage with STEM by providing specific ideas for ways and places they can interact with STEM in their homes and neighborhoods. These programs not only to remove perceived barriers about who does science, but also connect youth to the fundamental role STEM plays in their own lives and in the health and prosperity of our region.

“On behalf of the six International Paper facilities in the Atlanta metro area, we are proud to support Science ATL and their mission to improve access to science learning opportunities in our communities.”

The International Paper Foundation is one of the ways International Paper strives to reach its vision to be among the most successful, sustainable, and responsible companies in the world. Started in 1952, the foundation annually provides millions in grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations to address critical needs in the communities where its employees live and work. Funding priority is given to programs related to its signature causes: education, hunger, health and wellness, disaster relief, and initiatives that improve the planet. For more information, visit ipgiving.com.

“On behalf of the six International Paper facilities in the Atlanta metro area, we are proud to support Science ATL and their mission to improve access to science learning opportunities in our communities,” said Louis Salters, Manufacturing Manager, Tucker Preprint, North American Container, International Paper. “Their programs are a great way to connect thousands of children and families in our community to STEM learning.”

About Science ATL

Science ATL is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing people together through the wonder of science. The mission began in 2014 with the Atlanta Science Festival, co-founded by Emory University, Georgia Tech, and the Metro Atlanta Chamber. This annual two-week event, presented by Delta Air Lines, has brought science programming to more than 200,000 people in metro Atlanta. Additional Science ATL initiatives and events increase public interest in and appreciation of science in Atlanta with easy access points to science, technology, engineering and math throughout the year.

Science ATL Expands with Year-Round STEM Events, Programming in Atlanta

Non-profit Science ATL becomes parent organization of Atlanta Science Festival

Science lovers of all ages can experience the kinetic excitement of STEM-centric events and programs year-round thanks to Science ATL, which is now the official parent organization of the popular annual happening, the Atlanta Science Festival.

In addition to the Atlanta Science Festival, taking place March 6-21, 2020, a variety of Science ATL events will come to life across metro Atlanta throughout the next 12 months. This will include Science of Wine short courses; the Sci-cycle bicycle scavenger hunt during Atlanta Streets Alive; and next year’s Race Through Space 5K.

“This type of perpetual programming is perfect for metro Atlanta,” says David Hartnett, Science ATL’s chairman of the board and chief economic development officer at the Metro Atlanta Chamber. “It certainly builds on the region’s booming STEM-related educational opportunities, economic development, and careers. We’re setting the stage for Atlanta’s leaders of tomorrow.”

Upcoming Science ATL events and sponsors

With major funding from Emory University, Delta Air Lines, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, and a host of other supporters, Science ATL continues the organization’s mission to bring people together and strengthen community through the wonder of science. The year-round commitment will build upon the success of Science ATL’s initial programming:

  • The Science Scene Calendar: Want to keep tabs on scientific fun taking place throughout the region? Visit this online calendar of local science-themed events, connecting science enthusiasts, both young and old.
  • Georgia Chief Science Officers: This program develops a group of middle and high school students as STEM leaders in their schools, empowering them to have a voice and make a positive change in their communities.
  • Science ATL Communication Fellowship: This exclusive fellowship trains scientists on how to better communicate with a range of public audiences, and gives them the opportunity to develop and execute at least two public engagement activities.

Science ATL is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing people together through the wonder of science. The mission began in 2014 with the Atlanta Science Festival, co-founded by Emory University, Georgia Tech, and the Metro Atlanta Chamber. This annual two-week event, presented by Delta Air Lines, has brought science programming to more than 200,000 people in metro Atlanta. Additional Science ATL initiatives and events increase public interest in and appreciation of science in Atlanta with easy access points to science, technology, engineering and math throughout the year.