August 2020
STEM will win!

Never has STEM been more critical for our community, nation and planet. We are grateful for the front line healthcare workers, as well as the scientists who are working day and night to develop therapeutics, vaccines and public health communications. It doesn’t stop there… the best and brightest in technology, engineering and mathematics are being called to action in this battle.

Technologists are developing much needed apps, including our own state’s COVIDWISE app that launched this past week. Virginia is the first state in the nation to use the new pandemic technology created by Apple and Google. Engineers like Linsey Marr, a professor of Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech, have been leading researchers in the airborne spread of the coronavirus. Mathematicians at UVA and across the world are providing data models and analytics that are critical for public health decision makers and greater public understanding of our communities’ health status. 

STEM will win the war on the coronavirus, and STEM heroes will leave their mark by not only saving lives and strategically reopening economies, but also by inspiring generations of new STEM professionals to follow in their footsteps. 

Please read more below about our operating status and programs as we continue our mission during this pandemic – now more than ever we must inspire a love of learning in STEM! 

Nene Spivy
Executive Director
Children's Science Center
What's Happening at the Lab?
Operating Status Update

The Children's Science Center Lab remains closed in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and in strict adherence to Virginia’s Phase 3 guidelines for entertainment, amusement, museum and cultural arts venues. However, the mission goes on! We have expanded our virtual programming rapidly over the past 5 months, serving hundreds of children with real-time, online camps and thousands more via regular public programming available on Facebook and YouTube. We’ve hosted virtual birthday parties, field trips and more.

Next week, we will launch our school-year STEM enrichment programs to serve children learning virtually at home. We are busy finalizing plans for all-new virtual school programs including online field trips, family science nights, and our Latina SciGirls program. We are committed to supporting families and educators during this challenging time. Now more than ever, children need fun STEM learning experiences and parents and teachers need partners in education. 

Special thanks to the following STEM champions for their generous contributions which are making these new programs possible: CACI, Battelle, United Bank, Aramco Americas, AWS In Communities, the Peter and Mary Levin Family Foundation, the Business Women’s Giving Circle of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, the Chaney Enterprise Foundation, Verizon, Wells Fargo, Integrated Enterprise Facilitators, and the Society for American Engineers.
New Program Just for Parents
How to support your child in a virtual world

Join Joann and Carly for an hour of tips, suggestions, and resources as we brave the new world of virtual learning together! 

Our seasoned educators will teach you ways to help your elementary student(s) navigate the social and emotional components of online learning as well as organizational and time management skills for a successful start to the school year. 

Learn our proven best practices that we have tested in our spring and summer virtual programs, and tools for keeping your child engaged. 

Please choose one of the three times available. This is a free program brought to you by the Children's Science Center.
Joann Nicholls, STEM Educator,
earned her Bachelor of Liberal Studies Degree in Child Development from Mary Washington University. She currently holds a Professional Teaching Certificate in the state of Virginia for elementary education. Joann spent 14 years teaching in the public school system along with tutoring in a variety of settings. In 2018, Joann joined the team as a STEM Educator and Curriculum Developer for the Children's Science Center Lab.
Dr. Carley Fisher-Maltese, STEM Educator, is an assistant professor at George Mason University, who teaches math and science methods and policy courses in the College of Education and Human Development. Her research focuses on science learning and the link between learning in informal and formal settings. Along with her 10 years of elementary teaching experience, she is currently developing a K-6 STEAM program at Willow Springs Elementary School in Fairfax County Public Schools. Carley has been a member of the STEM Advisory Board at the Children’s Science Center and has recently joined the team to assist with virtual and summer programming. 

Summer Camp
Through August 24
Our STEM Virtual Camps are half day adventures that keep children engaged, learning and having fun! Expert STEM Educators will facilitate hands-on activities, self directed learning, STEM explorations and group discussions for children in rising grades 2-6! Each registration includes a kit full of supplies for 5 experiments/activities (1 for each day) in a Children's Science Center drawstring bag available for curbside pick-up. Limit 30 campers/session. Two STEM Educators per camp session.
Each half day of virtual camp will include:
  • 1 hour Zoom Meeting with lesson/activity, animal encounter or science demonstration
  • 1 hour Daily Challenge time & Open Zoom for assistance if needed
  • 1.5 hour Zoom Meeting to present daily challenge, follow-up activities and lessons

The daily STEM challenges encourage critical thinking, creative problem solving, and child-led exploration. These challenges can be completed in under an hour and with limited parental supervision.
The $175 registration fee is intended for one registrant and 1 kit. You may purchase additional kits for $25 if you have more than one child participating in camp and sharing a screen. For example, if you have two children sharing a screen, you will want to choose the 1 screen and 2 kits option for $200. (Screens not included.)

Now Offering Virtual Birthday Parties!
No need to cancel your party
Science centers and museums are economic engines that employ workers and boost local economies. The arts and culture sector is under dire threat due to #COVID19. Tell your elected officials that museums are vital to our communities and as small businesses, need relief in the next round of government stimulus to deliver their important missions. It only takes one minute to make your voice heard in Congress. Use the American Alliance of Museums tool and tell congress to save culture in our community!

Click here to read the article on the latest survey.
Donor Spotlight
Fran Craig, Board Member
As an enthusiastic advocate and staunch supporter of the Children’s Science Center for the past 5 years, it was no surprise that Fran Craig was the first to announce her commitment as an Elements Partner for Launch the Future, the campaign to build Northern Virginia’s science center.
The founder of Unanet, a Loudoun-headquartered leading vendor of web-based professional services automation software, Fran loves the symbolism of Uranium (U) as her sponsored element. Her element, within the complete periodic table, will be incorporated as an interactive experience greeting visitors to the science center that will be enjoyed for generations.
Thank you, Fran, for being a champion for STEM learning and our mission and vision by lending your expertise and leadership as a member of the Board, Advisory Board, and now as an Elements Partner. We are extremely grateful to Fran for leading the Elements Partner effort and look forward to recognizing many more Element Partners' legacy to the children and families of our region.
The Children's Science Center is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.
We could not continue to share our mission virtually without our community of supporters. Your gifts directly support our mission and programs. THANK YOU!