Join Us

Join the national Leap into Science network as an educator or a state leader.  The program will be offered in more states each year to reach new audiences across the country.

Become an Educator

Informal educators from libraries, museums, and out-of-school time programs are invited to sign up to be trained in Leap into Science curriculum and facilitation strategies.

Benefits for Educators

  • Evidence-based curricula and kit of materials
  • Professional development in how to lead Leap into Science workshops for young children and families
  • Network of informal educators in your state, and nationally, who are committed to science and literacy
  • Ongoing technical support from your state leaders and national project  team

Expectations for Educators

  • Lead at least three workshops per year for children and families
  • Lead an event during National Leap into Science Week (last week of February)
  • Participate in quarterly calls for trained educators in your state
  • Complete brief online surveys after each event and at end of program year

Become a State Leader

Teams of representatives from three or more informal organizations are invited to apply together to be state leaders to collaboratively disseminate Leap into Science in your state. Organizations must have a clear capacity for statewide outreach to urban and rural populations as well as training informal educators.

Benefits for State Leaders

  • Become a leader in your state for disseminating high-quality science and literacy programming
  • Evidence-based curricula and kits of materials
  • Professional development on leading successful trainings in science and literacy programming
  • Travel and lodging to attend the National Leadership Institute in Philadelphia
  • Access to a national network of informal institutions committed to science and literacy outreach
  • Ongoing technical assistance through project community calls and webinars
  • Receive an annual stipend per team to recruit educators, lead trainings, and support implementation of Leap into Science in your state

Expectations for State Leaders

  • Participate in National Leadership Institute
  • Attend monthly project community webinars
  • Contribute to project evaluation and research efforts through surveys and interviews
  • Each year:
    • Recruit new informal educators from urban and rural areas of your state to participate in trainings
    • Schedule, plan, and lead trainings for a total of 60-90 educators in your state
    • Lead quarterly calls with trained educators in your state
    • Observe two or more Leap into Science programs for youth or families in your state


State Leaders


  • How can I sign up for a training?

    Trainings are being offered in select states.  Click here to register for a training being offered in your state.  New states will be added each spring.

  • Can I sign up alone or should I go with a colleague?

    We strongly encourage teams of at least two educators to sign up for a training together, to provide support for one another when implementing the program and maximize sustainability.

  • What curriculum themes will be offered each year?

    In 2018-2019, the theme will be balance. Trained educators will receive curricula and materials to lead three balance-themed workshops: one for preschoolers, one for elementary-age children, and one for families.  In 2019-2020, the theme will be wind and air. In 2020-2021, the theme will be light and shadows. Future themes will be determined in 2021.

  • What materials will I receive?

    After attending the in-person training, educators coming from the same organization share a kit with materials and curriculum guides for three balance workshops, as well as access to our online resources.  In each subsequent year, you will receive free webinars and curricula in subsequent themes, but will need to provide your own materials.

State Leaders

  • What kinds of institutions make for a strong state leadership team?

    Strong leadership teams consist of 2-3 institutions who have demonstrated capacity in training informal educators, and disseminating programs statewide to underserved urban and rural communities. Strong institutional partnerships demonstrate complementary expertise in STEM, literacy, and out-of-school programming, and ideally represent complementary sectors like state library systems, museums with strong outreach, statewide afterschool networks, statewide early childcare networks, etc.

  • What kind of individuals make for a strong state leader?

    Ideal candidates for state leaders include those with strong training backgrounds in STEM, literacy, and/or out-of-school time programming. Candidates should be mid-level employees who have training and/or managing outreach programs as part of their existing role.

  • Can more than three people apply to be on a state leadership team?

    Funding will only be provided for up to three people per state to attend the National Leadership Institute, and receive a stipend for time and travel involved in the project. If the state leadership team feels that more qualified individuals are necessary for executing the project, and can support these funds through external means, more than three people can apply together.

  • Can more than one state leadership team participate from one state?

    No. We are accepting one state leadership team per state. We will work to connect all those who are interested so that we can reach everyone within a state with these resources.

  • What resources will a state leadership team receive?

    Each state leadership team will receive training kits with curriculum resources and materials, educator kits with curriculum and materials, reimbursement for travel and lodging for up to three team members to attend the National Leadership Institute, an annual stipend of $3900 to share among the team to cover time and travel, and monthly technical assistance through project team meetings.

  • What if there are not any urban areas within a state?

    We have a high priority to reach underserved rural areas. You can still have a strong application while focusing your reach primarily on rural areas.

  • How many educators must be trained in each state?

    Each year, state leaders are expected to provide in-person training for approximately 60-90 new informal educators from urban and rural areas in your state. Informal educators include museum staff, library staff, afterschool program staff, camp counselors, and other adults who lead out-of-school time programming for youth and families. These could be in the form of three separate trainings in different regions of the state, or fewer larger trainings that happen in conjunction with a state conference or other event that draws educators from various regions.