Welcome to SCIENCountErs!

Excited students work with polymersSCIENCountErs is an outreach program developed by UW-Madison’s Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC) and Institute for Chemical Education (ICE). Initially started in 2005 with the Boys & Girls Clubs (BGC) of Dane County, this successful program now partners colleges and universities and science museums across the country with their local BGC. Through this program undergraduate and graduate students have volunteered hundreds of hours to help build a pipeline of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students from underrepresented groups. This work helps:

  • Improve BGC members’ attitudes towards science and scientists
  • Build students’ confidence about their scientific abilities
  • Increase their ability to communicate science

Our pedagogical model is designed around hands-on and inquiry-based activities to help reinforce science concepts students will be covering in school. They use primarily inexpensive and easily obtained materials. Our scientist volunteers (which have expanded to include working scientists from Sigma-Aldrich Co.) share their interest and excitement for science/engineering and introduce students to STEM job opportunities. Having adult mentors who support science exploration has a profound impact on these children, helping them consider career paths they may never have realized exist.

SCIENCountErs is an expanding national program you can join. We encourage you to use our materials with students in your own communities and set up an account on the SCIENCountErs page. Once you have an account, we would appreciate your feedback regarding what worked and any useful adjustments you chose to make.

Program Sponsored by Sigma-Aldrich, NSEC and NSF


  • Join Today!

    The SCIENCountErs program is expanding nationally and we want you to join! Applications are open to Boys and Girls Clubs, university and college chemistry departments, and informal science education institutions such as museums.