Chapter Programs and Activities (Español)
The interdisciplinary nature of Sigma Xi allows members to unite with colleagues and to address a range of issues that bridge the disciplines. Chapter activities enable members to undertake activities outside their usual scope of work, and to learn about the work of other scientists and engineers. The following examples illustrate some of the countless ways Sigma Xi chapters have impacted their institutions and communities.
For many chapters, a lecture series is the core chapter activity. Lecturers are often invited from outside the institution and audiences are interdisciplinary and sometimes include the public as well as Sigma Xi members. Sigma Xi sponsors a Distinguished Lectureships program that offers a small stipend to chapters wishing to host visits from the outstanding lecturers in the program.
Many chapters sponsor research symposia where undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty members make poster presentations that highlight their research activities. These symposia offer students and faculty an opportunity to experience scientific exchange in an atmosphere similar to a professional conference. They also can offer students and professionals the opportunity to learn about research outside their primary field of study. Often such symposia offer awards for outstanding presentations.
Sponsorship of Science Fairs
Science fairs are another popular chapter activity. Chapter members serve as judges for pre-college science fairs and often serve as mentors for young people who are preparing projects for these events.
Some chapters offer mentoring programs for young students. The chapter and local schools work together to match pre-college students with faculty who are doing research in an area of interest to the student. Students carry out research projects in the labs and present the work in formal seminars. Some chapters have invited young people to workshops on campus to participate in hands-on activities. This is often the first time many young people visit a college campus.
Public Understanding of Science
As research scientists, many Sigma Xi members feel a responsibility to educate the general public about scientific issues. Chapters have taken an active role in community debates over science issues by providing background information on the basic science involved or by serving as speakers on scientific issues that impact their communities.
Outreach to Schools, Career Development
Sigma Xi members realize that preparing for a career as a scientist or engineer begins well before college. Chapters have therefore established relationships with primary schools to help expose the students to careers in science and engineering. Chapter members have visited schools, given demonstrations, and discussed careers in science and engineering.
Several chapters have established speakers' bureaus for schools, compiling a list of members who are willing to give a lecture or a demonstration.
Additionally, to help strengthen pre-college science education, chapters work with teachers to develop lesson plans and research activities to excite young people about science.
Trips to Research Facilities
Visits to area labs or scientific facilities by chapter members have proven to be popular activities, particularly if the lab is not open to the public.
Awards and Recognition
Many chapters offer awards for promising research by graduate students, outstanding teaching by pre-college science teachers, the work of non-scientists in explaining science to the public, and distinguished research throughout a career.
For More Information Contact:
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
P. O. Box 13975
3106 East NC Highway 54
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 USA