Our Mission and Vision
Challenging kids to think scientifically
Prove Your World, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization providing scientifically accurate, pedagogically sound and entertaining science programming for 8- to 13-year-olds across both web-based and traditional media.
Being a member of a scientifically literate society is crucial for success and even survival in the modern world. The issues facing us are complex, constantly evolving and often difficult to grasp. Questions about genetic testing, engineered food, climate change, energy, education, alternative medicine and effective use of natural resources are among those that face us every day. Broad science literacy is central to dealing effectively with these issues. It is also of undeniable economic value. We are constantly reminded of the STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) skills that will form the basis of prosperity in the modern world.
Almost paradoxically, we are also faced with a society often deeply ignorant and distrustful of science and an educational system that is over-burdened and necessarily focused on other issues such as basic reading and mathematics. This in turn leads to parents and teachers who see science literacy as an additional burden they and their kids cannot effectively carry.
To further complicate matters, science education is often grounded in rote memorization and pre-packaged materials. This approach is quite understandable given educators’ limited time, resources, and background in STEM investigation. But approaching science this way often stifles exactly the scientific “habits of mind” which educators hope to instill as the long-term result of STEM learning. Like professional scientists, kids are uninterested in memorizing disconnected facts or “fill in the blanks” experiments that they had no part in creating and are not relevant outside the classroom. So they learn that science is difficult, boring, largely pointless, and not valued by the adults in their lives.
In order to address these issues and fulfill our mission statement, Prove Your World provides informal science education targeted to 8- to 13-year-olds that is learner and inquiry-driven and grounded in current national standards. Our goal is to use PYW to expose science and the inquiry process to as broad an audience of kids and adults as possible. Although we hope to increase the number of kids who choose science as a career, our primary focus is in promoting broad scientific interest and literacy.