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Virtual Science Club

In 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we realized that students did not have the typical high level of support of teachers and mentors. The Virtual Science Club (VSC) was designed to provide free virtual programming to assist students and teachers in the development of STEM skills and to motivate them to enter the Southern Appalachian Science & Engineering Fair (SASEF)! The club is a joint venture between SASEF and The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Pre-College Research Excellence Programs.

What is the VSC?

It is a club that meets twice per month. It provides free programming to assist students and teachers in the development of STEM skills and to motivate students to enter the upcoming Southern Appalachian Science & Engineering Fair (SASEF) which will be held in-person on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus on March 26, 2024.

Who is eligible to attend VSC sessions?

The club is available to all grade 6-12 students, grade 6-12 teachers, and other sponsors of STEM programs (e.g., 4-H leaders).

How do I become a member of the VSC?

No need to become a member! Everyone is welcome to attend meetings as they wish.

Click here for 2023-2024 VSC details including upcoming club meeting dates/Zoom links, RSVP links, information on speakers at future meetings, and recordings of previous meetings.

When does the VSC meet?

The VSC typically meets twice per month, with a guest speaker for one session and breakout sessions by research area for the other. The meetings have typically been held on Tuesday nights at 7:00 pm EST. For access to the full 2023-2024 schedule please click here.

What will club meetings look like?

One meeting per month will feature a guest speaker from a STEM field. Past speakers have been University of Tennessee faculty, STEM professionals from the local area, and even past SASEF participants that now work in a STEM field as an adult! These sessions will typically include about a 20-minute presentation followed by a Q&A session with the guest speaker.

The second meeting each month will feature smaller “breakout” sessions separated into the following four research areas. Each research area’s breakout room will have mentors including a UT graduate student, at least one science and engineering professional, and/or at least one SASEF board member. These mentors will assist students with questions about STEM activities particularly focusing on those activities that will support a SASEF project.

  1. Human Sciences
    • Behavioral & Social Sciences
    • Medicine & Health Sciences
  2. Natural Sciences
    • Animal Sciences
    • Biochemistry
    • Cellular & Molecular Biology
    • Environmental Sciences
    • Microbiology
    • Plant Sciences
  3. Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • Earth & Planetary Science
    • Environmental Management
    • Physics & Astronomy
  4. Engineering & Math
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering: Electrical & Mechanical
    • Engineering: Materials & Bioengineering
    • Energy & Transportation
    • Mathematical Sciences


Have additional questions?

Please contact us at or 865-974-9493.