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Science Cheerleader started as a simple little blog where Darlene, armed with her freshly minted graduate degree from UPenn, would share and solicit information about public engagement in science and federal science policy. That led to an international effort to reopen a Congressional agency (Office of Technology Assessment) with a mechanism for public input…which eventually morphed into the first-of-its-kind U.S. network called ECAST (Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology) formed by Science Cheerleader, the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, Boston Museum of Science, AZ State University and the Loka Institute). Read more about all that here, if you’d like.
While pushing to build opportunities for “regular” people to get involved in science policy matters, this blog also helped direct people to opportunities to collaborate with scientists on real research projects (“citizen science” projects). The cute little “Project Finder” on Science Cheerleader outgrew the blog and is now its own site and business (named one of Philadelphia’s Top Ten Tech Start Ups with a Social Good). Check out our sister site, SciStarter.com !
Darlene wanted to let people know about all these opportunities AND invite people to join in these conversations so she enlisted the help of the Philadelphia 76ers cheerleaders. Why not? She was a 76ers cheerleader back in the day…during the Charles Barclay era. These awesome gals recorded 18 science facts on video and Professor Trefil from George Washington University blogged about the facts and explained why he selected these 18 facts for his book, Science Matters. Learn these 18 points and, BAM, you’re pretty much considered science literate.
That Adult Science Literacy campaign caught the eye of the national media and suddenly Darlene was being contacted by NFL and NBA cheerleaders pursuing science and technology careers. They wanted to get involved.
We received a grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund to perform at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in October 2010. First time we ever met each other! The performance and crowd reaction (particularly among young girls) was HUGE. So was the media attention: CNN, ESPN, NPR, BBC, CBS, Washington Post, Discover and much more. Look for us on the Today Show soon!
The Science Cheerleaders had arrived. And now we are more than 200 strong!
Since then, we’ve received a grant from the National Science Foundation to help put together the Science of NFL Football video series with NBC Sports, NBC Learn and the NFL. The series won an Emmy!
We’ve also created small mentoring programs that we’d like to scale up, nationally.
We set a Guinness World Record for the Largest Cheer with Pop Warner.
We signed a deal to be the national cheer partner of Pop Warner so we can bring science to more than 100,000 scholar cheerleaders.
We’ve performed and led citizen science activities at events and schools in NY, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., TX, Vegas, CA and more. We helped the White House kick off Women’s History Month at NASA and more.
With a few, notable exceptions, this has been a labor of love for all involved. But we want to grow. We want to create a sustainable model and scale up our successful programs.
We can do this with your support:
Donate to Science Cheerleader, LLC via PayPal
Work with us to make your program or event a memorable one.
Buy our Tshirts, hats, lab coats, or “Jr Science Cheerleader” tank tops!
Become a sponsor and support one of our programs while earning recognition on our site, uniforms, trading cards and national print and social media campaigns.
Want to lend us your time and talents? Awesome! We can find a role for you. We’re particularly in need of folks with expertise in fund raising, someone to organize as a 501 c3, peeps to help conduct online interviews with new Science Cheerleaders, helpers to organize events, tech heads to produce videos/podcasts, and social media gurus to help grow our You Tube channel, Facebook and Twitter presence. Plus we’re looking for someone to help Darlene strategize business development, marketing, and partnership opportunities….there’s something for everyone!
Contact Darlene@sciencecheerleader.com if you’re interested in joining our efforts to make it easier (and more fun) for people to discover–or rediscover–their interests in science and technology. GOOOOO Science!