Academies for Young Scientists
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About AYS

NSFAYS is a new initiative at NSF designed to increase student interest in STEM education and careers through out-of-school-time programming. Responding to a congressional mandate, the NSFAYS initiative provides "seed money for new projects with the goal of increasing the pool of individuals pursuing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers through programs that catalyze and maintain interest of K-8 students in math[ematics] and science." NSFAYS will be funding up to 16 projects that meet these goals. To date funded projects include:

COMETS (West Virginia State University)
EBAYS (Lawrence Hall of Science)
Energy Earth and Civilization (Middle Tennessee State University)
LIONS (Missouri Botanical Garden)
Math Achievers (Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program Inc.)
Project GUTS (Santa Fe Institute)
ROBOTS (University of North Carolina)
SCIENCE CITY (Temple University)
Science in the Circle (Case Western Reserve University)
SPARK! (University of Pennsylvania)
STEM Pathways (Boston College)
STEMRAYS (University of Masachusetts Amherst)
Stone Age to Space Age (New Mexico State University)
TRIAGE (Calvin College)
WetKids (University of Southern Mississippi)
Yerkes (University of Chicago)

For a list of project descriptions, please click here.

NSF also awarded a grant to fund an NSFAYS Research and Evaluation Center, which is headed by CILS. The CILS research team consists of leaders from the Exploratorium, Harvard University's PEAR, King's College London, SRI International, and UC Santa Cruz. The team is applying a theoretical framework that draws on cultural historical activity theory, the new institutionalism in organizational theory, and theories of inquiry-based science to determine and document the ways in which the OST programs support and expand student participation in science education activities.