What is Science-A-Thon?
Celebration of science and scientists, promoting role models and diversity
Showcase for the wide range of careers relevant to STEM education
Platform for students to learn about STEM opportunities from research to business, technology to education, and more!
Science-A-Thon is a five-day social media celebration of science, engineering, technology, and math – widely known as STEM! The goal of Science-A-Thon is to increase visibility of science and the important role it plays in the world. Anyone who advances scientific knowledge or applies science to solve problems is welcome to participate – from mathematicians and engineers, to doctors and industry researchers and developers. You must be 18 years or older to register.
During the second week in October, participants share their #dayofscience, posting photos and videos on social media of their daily routine as STEM professionals. With over 31,000 followers on social media and counting, Science-A-Thon has received over 19.2 million Tweet impressions and archived more than 12,000 posts from around the world. Over the years, this event has raised upwards of $75,000 for some of the most high-impact organizations supporting science diversity, including the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN), the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and Girls Who Code!
Participants are encouraged to engage in whatever way fits their goals and schedule – whether that means sharing 12 photos over 12 hours, sharing a few photos a day, or sharing lots of photos in a single day.
This annual event is a project of the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to uplifting the scientists of today and welcoming the scientists of tomorrow. All donations made to Science-A-Thon are fully tax-deductible. Funds raised from Science-A-Thon will support current and future initiatives of Science-A-Thon and ESWN.
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The Science-A-Thon Story
Science-A-Thon began as an initiative of the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN) to connect scientists and science enthusiasts through social media. Since then, this movement has taken off on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to become an annual celebration of STEM around the world. In support of the broader mission of ESWN, Science-A-Thon is designed to lift up the scientists of today and welcome the scientists of tomorrow.
Science-A-Thon began in July 2017 as a one-day celebration of science, attracting more than 150 participants and making its mark as a trending topic on social media. The success of 2017 inspired the five-day structure of Science-A-Thon 2018, which was shifted to the third week in October to better connect with students and teachers. This week-long social media marathon featured daily themes in and around science, with participants posting their #dayofscience on the day that best matched their interests. By the end of the week, Science-A-Thon had nearly doubled its number of participants.
Science-A-Thon 2019, which took place from October 14-18, 2019, was the biggest and most successful celebration of science yet. As a salute to all of the nonprofit organizations working hard to support women and minorities in STEM, Science-A-Thon donated all of the proceeds from our peer-to-peer fundraising initiative (totaling over $15,000) to three deserving partner charities: the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN), the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and Girls Who Code. In addition to experiencing the power of giving, Science-A-Thon 2019 welcomed over 300 participants, with many more following along on social media. Thanks in large part to the generosity of the “Twitter for Good” campaign, the Science-A-Thon Twitter account gained over 11,000 new followers in less than five days!
In a year of unexpected twists and turns, Science-A-Thon 2020 brought a spark of positivity to an otherwise challenging time. From October 12-16, 2020, over 200 participants around the world shared their #dayofscience from the comfort of their own homes. Posts featured everything from morning cups of coffee, to creative work-from-home office spaces, to furry four-legged co-workers, to Science-A-Thon’s signature “I Heart Science” t-shirts. In just under a week, Science-A-Thon increased its Twitter following from 12,000 to over 31,000 followers! This virtual celebration of science garnered over 3.7 million Tweets impressions during the week of the event — including over 7,000 profile visits, 26,200 likes, and more than 12,000 retweets.
With Science-A-Thon 2021 just around the corner, we look forward to growing this year’s event to welcome our new audience. Funds raised from Science-A-Thon will support current and future initiatives of Science-A-Thon and ESWN, including profiling women in science, providing critical infrastructure, supporting skills workshops, expanding job-finding resources, and encouraging college students to pursue STEM.
Meet the Science-A-Thon Leadership Team
Tracey Holloway is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, jointly appointed in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Department of Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences. She wears a lot of hats – including leader of Science-A-Thon! Tracey also leads the NASA Health and Air Quality Applied Science Team (HAQAST), and outreach for the UW-Madison Energy Analysis and Policy Program. One of her greatest accomplishments is having co-founded and served as the first president of the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN) – the parent organization of Science-A-Thon.