The Science Cheerleaders are a group of 175 current and former NFL and NBA professional cheerleaders who are pursuing careers in science while they playfully challenge stereotypes, and encourage others to participate in science.
The Science Cheerleaders were created by former Philadelphia 76ers cheerleader- turned science advocate, Darlene Cavalier. Cavalier started the Science Cheerleader blog in 2006 to spark public engagement in science. Her graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania exposed her to potential solutions to public apathy in science. As the Science Cheerleader, she wanted to broaden public interest in science, get people involved in doing real scientific research, and, as a logical extension, help make it possible for “regular” people to weigh in on science policy matters. In the process, she stumbled upon real science cheerleaders: NFL and NBA cheerleaders pursuing science and engineering careers.
Last year, Science Cheerleader, NBC Sports, NBC Learn, the NFL and the National Science Foundation partnered up to produce an Emmy award-winning video series titled The Science of NFL Football. In October, 2012, in partnership with the White House and the USA Science and Engineering Festival, they’ll lead the world’s biggest cheer for science in Washington, D.C.
The team is growing they are adding new Science Cheerleaders every week. The team is involved with a series of projects including: ongoing web video series, short film, book, magazine, charter clubs, memberships, apparel, and more.