By funding science education and outreach at all levels, kindergarten through adult in Pittsburgh, Pennyslvania, and surrounding areas, as well as local areas in and around the host city. Outreach programs include science education through workshops and seminars for students and teachers and grant programs for schools and colleges to purchase scientific equipment.
Each year in the host city, Pittcon offers Science Week, an outreach and support program that promotes science education from elementary through high school levels. Science Week includes free teacher and student workshops, a demonstration/lecture for high school students, and a grant program.
Teacher workshops are presented by leading educators and scientists and cover a wide range of topics specific to elementary, middle, and high school science. Teachers who attend receive Professional Learning Units (PLU's) and will also receive supplies and materials, so that they can immediately implement the principles and activities demonstrated in the workshops.
Student workshops are also available to elementary and middle school students. Participants rotate through a set of six hands-on workshops that cover such topics as gases, acid/base reactions, chromatography, electrochemistry, astronomy, and light and color.
On Thursday of Conference Week, Lee Marek from the University of Chicago will present a special lecture and demonstration, "Weird Science on Fuels and Energy." This program will feature science education in a very unique way so as to capture the interest of high school students.
Attendance at one or more of the teacher workshops entitles a teacher to apply for a grant to purchase science-related teaching materials for their school. These grants may be as much as $1000 each to any school within a 150 mile radius of Orlando.
Each year, together with its co-sponsoring technical societies, SACP and SSP, and funded by the Pittcon event, these societies award The Pittsburgh Conference Memorial National College Grants (PCMNCG) to small college science departments. The awards are up to $10,000 for the purchase of scientific equipment, audio-visual, teaching aids, and/or library materials for use in the teaching of science at the undergraduate level for colleges and universities throughout the United States.
The award program has grown over the years to include 10 - 12 colleges that meet the necessary size and budgetary requirements to receive grants up to $10,000.
As of 2011, 312 grants have been awarded through PCMNCG since its inception in 1974.
In addition to this award, Pittcon generates over $1 million dollars for the SSP and the SACP to provide grants and awards such as elementary/middle school, high school, and college equipment grants in western Pennyslvania and parts of Ohio & West Virginia to teachers who teach science in grades K-12 and college/university professors.
Starter Grant Awards
The SACP/SSP Starter Grant Awards are given to encourage high-quality, innovative research by beginning chemistry professors. The goal of the grants is to promote the training and development of graduate students in the fields of spectroscopy and analytical chemistry. Two $40,000 awards will be granted in 2012: one award from the SACP in the area of analytical chemistry and one award from the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh in the area of spectroscopy.
2012 Undergraduate Analytical Research Program (UARP) Grant
The Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh will award a grant of $10,000 to promote high-quality, innovative undergraduate research in the field of analytical chemistry. The objective of this grant is to promote training and development of undergraduate students in the field of analytical chemistry.
K-8 Excellence in Science Teaching Award
The SSP accepts nominations for teachers for the Excellence in Science Teaching Award. The program is open to any teacher Grades K-8 within Allegheny and surrounding county schools of the SSP membership area. The award consists of a plaque and $1,000 honorarium.
Keivin Burns Outstanding High School Science Teacher Award
The award is named after Keivin Burns, an outstanding astronomer, spectroscopist, and teacher at the Allegheny Observatory and the University of Pittsburgh. The purpose of the award is to recognize excellence in teaching of science at the secondary school level. The awardee(s) will be presented with a plaque and a $1,250 honorarium.
The two societies also donate money to outreach programs such as National Chemistry Week, local science centers, and museums. One of the grants is scholarship money to send underprivileged children to a local college to attend a week long summer camp called Kids College, which covers topics such as robotics and forensics.
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