The Sciences

The World is Your Lab. Here's How to Explore It

With Science Near Me, learning and exploring is easier than ever.

Science Near MeBy Science Near MeApr 6, 2022 1:00 PM
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(Credit: Pigprox/Shutterstock)

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What comes to mind when you think of a laboratory? Do you picture test tubes, chemicals and white lab coats? We’ve got a different answer: A laboratory is your world.

Scientists study everything. If you can come up with a question about the world, there’s probably a scientist somewhere studying it. And in many cases, scientists are studying what’s around them, using whatever tools they have at hand. Gregory Mendel watched the pea plants in his garden to uncover the secrets of genetic inheritance, and astronomer Caroline Herschel looked up to the night sky to discover new comets and nebulae. But you don’t need to be a professional scientist to explore your surroundings — keeping an eye on the changing seasons outside your door, tracking weather patterns and more all count as science!

With Science Near Me, it’s easier than ever before to find the kind of opportunities that let you explore the worldwide laboratory around you. ​​Science Near Me is a new website that searches all kinds of fun, curiosity-driven events and programs and presents them to you in one convenient online location. Below you’ll find a few examples of what you can find on Science Near Me provided by a national network of organizations — and we’re adding new programs and events all the time!

Explore Your World

As you will quickly learn on Science Near Me, there are new things to discover in most places you look. For example, there’s the night sky that fascinated astronomers like Hershel. To explore the sky today, you don’t even need a telescope. Astronomy clubs and planetariums host star parties that let anyone find planets and galaxies, learn about telescopes and explore the night sky. Explore more terrestrial wonders with free virtual programs from Archaeology Southwest — in May, they’ll be introducing viewers to Birds of the Sun: Macaws, Parrots, and People as they tour archaeological sites across Mesoamerica.

Or take trees. With the citizen science project NASA Globe Observer: Trees, you use a free app and sensors already in your phone to measure and report the height of trees near you. NASA uses that to verify satellite data and ultimately better understand changes in carbon cycles around the globe.

There’s science to be found in the objects and activities in our lives, too. Makerspaces, which give people the tools and mindset necessary to design and tinker with hands-on projects, offer gathering places right in your community to learn STEM skills and put them to use. Try out in-person events like the Creation Station at the Emerald Coast Science Center for science-inspired crafting projects. For kids, simple experiments can be eye-opening introductions to the world of science. Start them out with simple projects, like an online introduction to light and shadow from the Craft Memorial Library in West Virginia. To find activities in your own area, just search by your location on Science Near Me and see what you find!

Gain STEM Skills, Test Your Knowledge

Of course, even Mendel and Hershel needed to pick up some new skills to make their groundbreaking discoveries. There are plenty of chances to learn something new on Science Near Me, too. For example, learn sewing and fabric creation skills with an Open Build session at the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum. Students can learn basic coding skills through after-school programs like the UME Academy, or plan ahead for summer with the range of activities featured in the Jackson Laboratory’s Summer Student Program in Maine.

You can even flex your competitive muscles with the Spellman HV Clean Tech Competition. Join the only international sustainability research competition for pre-college youth and showcase clean technology innovations for the chance to win cash prizes.

If you’re looking forward to a night out on the town, there’s a way to find science there, too! Many pubs and bars feature science- and astronomy-themed trivia nights and “Science on Tap” events that pair real scientists with cold brews. You can find Astronomy on Tap events in numerous cities, or look for a Nerd Nite near you. Both series give adults the chance to get out and enjoy a few drinks while exploring cool new topics.

Explore With Science Near Me

Of course, the world of science is so much bigger than just the examples above. It’s tough to put all the opportunities out there into a single article — in fact, you need a whole website to do it! That’s the goal of Science Near Me, the new, one-stop-shop for discovering real science around you. Science Near Me includes a wide range of experiences that will let you explore the science happening in the world around you, gain new skills and knowledge, and put all that learning to good use with projects and activities. It’s paired with an intuitive search function that lets you narrow down your choices by area, time interest and more.

Head to Science Near Me today to get started. Search for something you’re interested in, like “astronomy” or “after-school programs,” or just click “Search Opportunities” in the top right corner to see everything that’s out there. Make an account while you’re at it to save events and activities to your profile, check off things you’ve done and even give feedback on how an event was!

Science Near Me is currently in beta mode, and we’d welcome your feedback. We’d also love to hear about your awesome science experiences as a participant or a host! You can reach us any time at info@sciencenearme.org.

See you out there!

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