Why 50 Forward?
ACS Project SEED is a summer research program providing economically disadvantaged high school students with the opportunity to spend 8-10 weeks working and being mentored in a research lab at a critical turning point in their lives.
A FOUNDATION FOR IMPACT
The chemists and chemical engineers of ACS who founded Project SEED 50 years ago were the experimenters and innovators. The next generation expanded the program to more students and sites, raising the quality of the program by refining processes and methods, and laying the groundwork that makes it possible to contemplate bolder impact today.
Because of these efforts, we are able take stock of the strengths of Project SEED, and ACS members are positioned to lead on issues of widespread interest and concern. These include:
High-quality STEM Education. We have a national consensus that science, technology, engineering and math education needs to be expanded and enhanced to generate innovation and continued prosperity. However, STEM initiatives remain woefully underfunded compared to the need for investment, especially in contrast to earlier periods in history. With a premier STEM initiative in Project SEED, ACS should scale up the reach and capacity of the program, while also encouraging its replication in new communities as well as globally.
Promotion of Scientific literacy. The flood of information of varying levels of credibility requires discernment, especially where science is concerned. Programs like Project SEED involving hands-on research offer young people experience in making evidence-based decisions and connections that make them more informed citizens. Scientic literacy is widely needed to enable our world to thrive, and Project SEED further addresses the scientic literacy gap among people of different backgrounds and income levels.
New voices in science. So many of the biggest questions for science today lie at the intersection of different elds, and are best explored by bringing together people from distinct disciplines, as well as from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Blacks and Hispanics still are underrepresented in the sciences (2% and 4% of ACS members, respectively), compared with Whites and Asians (80% and 9% ). Project SEED has a documented track record of creating a pipeline of diverse talent interested in the chemical sciences. That pipeline has proven to be a game-changer, and it should be pursued with even more vigor.
Of SEED participants that attend college:
Earned a Ph.D.
Earned a Masters of Science
Earned a Bachelor's Degree
Earned Other Degrees
Together we can build a foundation that extends ACS Project SEED’s trajectory outward and upward into the future – for 50 more years. We’ll increase the number of high school students who are able to participate in Project SEED, while continuing to raise our impact.
We’ll then see the changes that result from exposing thousands of students to what has inspired many of us – the pursuit of science in a laboratory setting under the guidance of a trusted mentor.
We invite you to experiment with ways you can help. Explore the Project SEED Inspiration Lab, learn about the science taking place, and hear the stories of participants. And consider how you can help move Project SEED forward for the next 50 years.
Will you invest today in young people’s academic and professional futures? Join the giving level that reflects your commitment to chemistry in the next 50 years.