A Science Booster Club eventBooster Club activities involving evolution not infrequently attract people with questions about my views on the interplay between religion and science education, specifically with respect to what should be taught in the science classroom, and how. Some people experience a substantial inner controversy between religion and science.

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Want to do some science?

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that Science Booster Club volunteers rarely encounter open conflict even when we bring evolution and climate change activities to religiously and politically conservative areas.

But the truth is, doing this work is hardly problem-free. As we’ve expanded into increasingly socially, religiously, and politically conservative territory, we do come up against a variety of pressures. Of course, as a social being, I care deeply about feeling accepted just like anyone else. So do the people who come to our events­. People don’t want to avoid only outright violence and conflict. Some of our most painful encounters instead involve shame and rejection. When it comes to having conversations about uncomfortable topics, as an SBC leader, I have to be sure to be aware that the people I meet might expect rejection or condescension from someone identifying as a scientist. And I have to guard against reacting to what I perceive as hostility with defensiveness.

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Julia Dent Grant with micro-Grants, 1854, via Wikimedia CommonsSeptember is fast approaching—which means it’s time for our third annual back-to-school microgrant cycle. Every year NCSE’s Science Booster Club program uses the funds we raise to buy durable equipment for science teachers. Common requests include balances, thermometers, microscopes, and shop tools.

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I spent last week at the National Science Teachers Association’s Summer Congress. This was my first Summer Congress, as I was recently elected to NSTA’s Board as the Division Director of Research in Science Teaching.
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James Tissot, The Farewell, via Wikimedia CommonsOn May 19, 2017, a little more than two years after I started building what would become the Science Booster Club program here in Iowa, I participated in my last local event. At the Iowa City Public Library’s STEAM fest, we interacted with around two thousand people on the topic of climate change.
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