BuffScience Outreach & Broader Impacts

The Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences bridges the gap between STEM researchers and their outreach and broader impact goals. Let the Buffalo Museum of Science and Tifft Nature Preserve guide and host your meaningful and relevant ideas in the western New York community.

(center) Dr. Margie Turrin from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory working with educators from Eden Central Schools (Erie County, NY) and Belfast Central Schools (Allegany County) on an inexpensive and simple approach to hands-on learning with sediment coring in LaSalle Lake at the University at Buffalo, July 2022.

What is Outreach?

There is a growing belief that STEM researchers who receive federal money for research should contribute to public STEM learning and understanding. As such, most federal grant solicitations require ‘Outreach & Broader Impact’ statements.

Outreach can be defined as the act of reaching out or extending service and assistance beyond current or usual limits.

For a STEM researcher, this means sharing your research with individuals outside of your traditional field.

Many researchers instantly consider working in a K-12 classroom but face challenges well beyond finding a classroom in which to work. Participating in meaningful outreach is a discipline unto itself and there is much more out there to consider than simply stating ‘I will conduct outreach in a local classroom’. With the ever-shifting goalposts and expectations placed on researchers, the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences is rising to meet and help local research faculty meet these expectations.

Lesson Plan Development

The professional staff of our education department is skilled in developing lesson plans that are hands-on and experiential in nature. Let our staff shift your research from academic to applicable in the K-12 classroom. Staff will :

Assist you in creating activities that are engaging and age-appropriate

Guide you in communicating with the K-12 audience

Align your outreach lesson plans to federal and state standards

Buffalo Museum of Science educators teach about shapes, refraction of lights, and surface tension through the Science of Bubbles!

Classroom Outreach

Perhaps you have a lesson plan and activity to share already but do not readily have relationships with area schools. We do! The Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences has been working in classrooms in and around the Buffalo-Niagara region for over 160 years! Consider working with us to establish and build a meaningful relationship in the K-12 classrooms in your area.

Dr. Kimberly Meehan of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences working with students at the Academy of Urban Planning in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Dr. Meehan has been working in PK-12 classrooms and informal science centers since 2006, is an active paleoecological researcher, and guide you in your Outreach work.

Professional Development

Ever consider working with teachers in the form of professional development? Visiting a classroom once is impactful, but working with these amazing professionals will allow for your outreach to be incorporated into the classroom throughout their entire career! We are New York State Department of Education accredited for teacher professional development. Through working with us and teachers under the umbrella of professional development, teachers earn PD credits towards maintaining their license, lesson plans based on your research, and materials to take back to the classroom. For this we have two options:

Lesson Modeling Professional Development Sponsorship

Hands-on approaches to STEM learning are skills that can be adopted through lesson plan modeling in the classroom. The Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences works with teachers year-round for on-site lesson modeling as professional development. We can take your hands-on lesson directly to the classroom throughout the school year to teach the teacher in the classroom while students enjoy a visit from staff from the museum and nature preserve.

Traditional Professional Development

A typical day for direct professional development starts with an informal lecture from the sponsoring researchers, followed by a casual lunch and an afternoon spent with teachers doing the hands-on activities and lessons based on your research.

We can even bring the teachers to your lab and research facility! Everyone loves a field trip and what is better than getting to see a scientist and their work in their lab?!

Amy Balling, an educator from Lancaster District High School (Erie County), testing out a viscosity lab activity presented by Dr. Stephan Kolzenburg in 2021.
Dr. Ingo Sonder, UB Geohazards Field Station, Springville, NY, gives a tour to educators following the morning viscosity la

Exhibit Design & Fabrication

Let the professional and talented exhibit staff work with you on a public engagement approach to outreach, exhibit design & fabrication based on your research.

Experiential learning has repeatedly been shown to benefit students comprehension, retention, engagement, and self-efficacy in all disciplines. Paul Parrinello, educator from Depew District High School. and Jerry Krajna, educator from Riverside High School Buffalo, examining their fossil finds at Penn Dixie Fossil Preserve in Hamburg, New York.

About Us

The Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences was established in 1861. After several temporary locations and with the support of the City of Buffalo, the Society opened the doors to a magnificent, state-of-the-art facility at the end of Humboldt Parkway on Buffalo’s East Side on January 19, 1929, now known as the Buffalo Museum of Science. 

In 1982, the Museum entered a commitment to the operation of the 264-acre Tifft Nature Preserve at Buffalo’s Outer Harbor for environmental education. The Preserve, which is just minutes from downtown Buffalo, features five miles of hiking trails, a self-guided nature and fitness trail, a 75-acre freshwater cattail marsh, and man-made lakes which attract wildlife throughout the year. 

Get In Touch

Dr, Kimberly C. Meehan, Chief Scientist of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences has developed this Outreach Program and acts as the liaison for your outreach programming and all the departments at Tifft and the Buffalo Museum of Science.

To contact Dr. Kim Meehan at the Buffalo Museum of Science, you can email her at kmeehan@sciencebuff.org or call 716-896-5200 x392.

Dr. Kimberly Meehan (left), Dr. Phil Stokes (center), and David Robison (right) examining fossil finds and cracking jokes at Penn Dixie, 2021.

Drop By

Buffalo Museum of Science

1020 Humboldt Parkway, Buffalo, New York 14211

Tifft Nature Preserve

1200 Fuhrmann Boulevard , Buffalo, NYew York 14203