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Chapters » Model Programs

Sigma Xi has more than 500 chapters around North America and the world. The links to the left offer a sampling of outstanding programs that are either (1) organized at the chapter level, or (2) offered through the administrative office as opportunities for chapter participation. Individuals visiting this page are also encouraged to browse some of the other chapter Web sites for more ideas and contacts.

Chapter Award Winners

Often the best ideas for running a chapter or chapter program come from other chapters. The links below offer a sampling of outstanding ideas that can be adapted by other chapters. If your chapter has a good idea to share, please e-mail chapters@sigmaxi.org.

Honoring High School Teachers
The North Carolina State University Chapter selects school teachers from the local school system to be honored as outstanding science or math teachers at the chapterís annual banquet. The chapter goes one step further by announcing the winning teachers at the local school board meeting. This gives added weight to the honor the teachers receive as well as providing an opportunity to introduce the chapter to the school board.

Below is the message that the chapter delivered to the school board:

"Founded in 1886, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, is a non-profit membership society of nearly 75,000 scientists and engineers who were elected to the Society because of their research achievements or potential. Our interest in promoting and recognizing excellence in teaching math and science in middle schools and high schools is driven by our desire to have highly qualified students enter our university. We know how easily students can be turned off to science and math in these grades, but we also know (many from our own experience) how one dedicated teacher can make these subjects real and exciting for us.

Your outstanding teachers (like those who we will recognize today) are the most important partners we could have."

The teachers were then introduced and had a few words said about their accomplishments.

Ideas for Local Sigma Xi Chapter Invigoration

  1. Hold luncheons with local officials on issues of local interest (environmental protection, technology incubators, etc.).
  2. Hold noon luncheons periodically.
  3. Institute a mentors program for freshman science majors.
  4. Create a problem-based learning course in research ethics.
  5. Designate and counsel deputies at college or departmental level.
  6. Put distinguished scientist lectures on CD or the Web.
  7. Sponsor a science newsletter or magazine.
  8. Arrange special recognition for student members (Honor Cords, list membership on graduation program, note membership on transcripts).
  9. Institute and coordinate K-12 outreach programs.
  10. Sponsor an on-campus "Science, Technology, and YOUth" weekend event with lectures, tours, demos for school children.
  11. Supervise distribution of surplus equipment to public schools.
  12. Arrange public discussions, forums on science or educational policy matters.
  13. Arrange discussions, forums on science or educational policy matters with university administrators.
  14. Sponsor new-faculty orientation, mentoring, faculty development programs.
  15. Sponsor off-campus faculty retreats.

Circulate a list like this and invite members to become a "champion" for an idea that appeals to them.

These ideas were submitted by Bill Klemm (wklemm@cvm.tamu.edu), Associate Director of the Research/Doctoral Constituency and member of the Texas A&M University chapter.

Promoting the Grants-in-Aid of Research Program
Members of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington Chapter were sent the following e-mail. For a list of recent Grants-in-Aid of Research winners, go to
http://sigmaxi.org/programs/giar/award.shtml. Remember, Grants-in-Aid of Research winners are potential new Sigma Xi members.

"Dear Sigma Xi Members:
Our local chapter is proud to announce that Ms. Soma Sarkar, a Master's candidate in the Department of Biological Sciences, will receive a Grant-in-Aid of Research award from Sigma Xi. Soma's research proposal titled, "Aerobic scope and lactate production in mice with inherited capacity for hypoxic exercise," was selected along with 300 out of 1,300 applications submitted for the October 15, 2003 deadline. Dr. Stephen Kinsey is Soma's faculty advisor for this research project.

Sigma Xi's Grant-in-Aid of Research program is a biannual competition, with the next deadline being March 15th. The program is open to all undergraduate and graduate students in all disciplines of science. Online application forms are available at www.sigmaxi.org. Please contact me if you have any questions."

- Neil Hadley, UNC-Wilmington chapter

Recruiting New Faculty
The Marquette University Chapter is working with the university human resources department to put information about the chapter in the materials for new faculty/administrative hires. The chapter also adds a letter about Sigma Xi and the chapter activities to the packet of information. The goal is to boost chapter enrollment by giving new members of the university a chance to become part of Sigma Xi and get in on the chapter early!

Understanding Changes to K-12 Science and Math Curriculum
With the "No Child Left Behind" Act, many states are implementing sweeping changes to the math and science curriculum at the primary and secondary levels. These changes will have a direct impact (good or bad) on the students that college and university facility will be seeing in future years.

The Whitman College-Walla Walla College Chapter decided that being an interdisciplinary group, it is in a unique position to facilitate discussions of the math and science curriculum between state and local educators and college/university faculty.

The chapter held a forum which included background information on the new curriculum and a question and answer session with representatives of the local school system and the state department of education.


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