Family Science Nights:
Fun for the Whole Family!
Illinois After School Assoc. Conference-
May 3, 2014
Family Science Nights can be a powerful and distinctive way to make a
positive impact on the children and families in your unique learning
environments. These events help raise awareness of the importance of
science, and more importantly, showcase the need for parents to actively
support their children’s learning. This guide is designed to be a working tool
as you plan the details of your program.
After selecting a date and time for your Family Science Night, there
are many more decisions to make. Below are some things to consider
when planning your event.
Choose a location for the event. Family Science events can be
done anywhere: school cafeteria, community center, gym, church
basement, outdoors, etc… Be sure to consider the space, how many
people you are expecting, and how to accommodate them.
Determine how many staff/volunteers are needed. There should
be one to two staff or volunteers at each station (i.e. registration or
Choose activities and determine necessary materials—make it
easier by utilizing what you already have! (i.e. Science Club activities
and materials or materials you have lying around or in bulk).
If applicable, rent equipment, tables or chairs.
If possible, offer incentives to participate, such as prizes, raffle
drawings, babysitting for very young children, and/or extra credit for
students who attend.
If possible, provide refreshments. People always respond to “free”
food! It also demonstrates the value you place on the attendees
Be sure to contact any staff or administration that are necessary for
keeping the building open after hours.
Who is your target audience? How can you best reach them?
The following are ideas to help you promote your event:
Create a flyer to communicate the event with families. Be sure to
include all information about the event in your promotion.
Deliver the flyer by mail, at report card pick-ups, or when parents
come to pick up their students after school.
Utilize other forms of communication such as newsletter articles,
posters at your site, emails, letters to parents, bulletin boards, or
Provide additional programming. It may help increase involvement
if you offer families additional programs or services the night of the
event (i.e. book drive, science fair, family math night).
Be sure to utilize any resources available to make planning and hosting the event
easier for you.
Here are a few ideas of additional resources that might help you:
In addition to your staff volunteers, internal and external volunteers may be
If you need additional people to assist the event night, reach out to parents, organized
volunteer or civic service organizations, high schools, or senior citizen centers.
Utilizing older students is an incredibly powerful way to motivate younger students to
pursue further work within science clubs and academic organizations.
Family Science, Portland State University
Science Night Family Fun from A to Z, Terrific Science Press
Don’t forget us! We’re here to help you any way we can. Please feel free to contact
any After-School Science Minors Clubs staff:
Angelina Mendoza (773)947-3102, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brett Nicholas (773)753-6256, email@example.com
Gail J. Hutchison (773)753-3874, firstname.lastname@example.org
Keith Hand (773)753-6006, email@example.com
This presentation is available on www.slideshare.net/MSIScienceClubs.