Open Science Network Society
Open Science Network Society (OSN) is nonprofit with the goal of bringing science to the people. We accomplish this simple to state, but difficult to achieve, goal through activities at our community science lab, participating in and hosting science outreach events, and mentoring secondary students. Founded in June 2015, we provide opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds and gender to learn more about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math). We aim to inspire and support those interested in STEAM careers and nurture citizens so they can critically assess information about important matters such as climate change, health, transportation and food security.
STEM Mentoring Cafe
OSN’s signature outreach event is our STEM Mentoring Cafe, organized by our Vice President, Wes Wong. Our cafes connect middle school students with STEM professionals to inspire and encourage the students to pursue their STEM interests as they enter high school. The event has been described as “speed dating” for science, with STEM professionals meeting small groups of students to provide insight into the work they do. To provide strong role models for girls, we ensure at least half our mentors are women and we have also run girls only events.
Community Science Lab
OSN operates a community-supported science laboratory run by our President, Scott Pownall. With a range of lab grade research equipment, our space provides an inclusive and affordable environment suited to the needs of scientists, entrepreneurs, and amateur explorers alike. Our lab hosts regular public workshops, members-supporting classes, and open lab nights.
One of our most successful and well-attended public events was a CRISPR gene editing workshop. Participants were guided through a nucleotide swapping experiment to learn hands on about this important technology. This was a great example of how our space brings together scientists and curious amateurs alike to explore relevant, contemporary topics in science and make technical developments accessible to the public.