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Student Code of Conduct

The Shoulders of Giants, Inc. (TSoG) is a youth-serving, community-based organization dedicated to sharing the thrill of scientific discovery. Involvement in our organization's services is subject to the observance of the organization's rules and procedures. All rules and behavioral guidelines extend to participation at live events as well as online conduct on all communication platforms, including but not limited to this website, email and internal or external chat communication platforms.

Your use of our Services is subject to the terms of this Code of Conduct, which is incorporated into and subject to our Terms of Service. Any capitalized terms used but not defined within this Code of Conduct have the meaning given to them in our Terms of Service.


All participants of any TSoG Service ("Community Member(s)"), whether it be held in person or online, are subject to this Code of Conduct. This includes staff, officers, directors, and volunteers, students of all ages, and other participants such as sponsors or donors who have access to or communication privileges within our Services.

Any person who violates this Code is subject to discipline, up to and including removal from the Services.

Inclusion Policy

TSoG is dedicated to providing a positive learning environment for everyone, regardless of age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, ethnicity, nationality, race, religion or lack thereof, education, or socio-economic status.

Modeling positive behavior

Examples of behavior that contribute to creating a positive environment include:

  • Being kind to others

  • Behaving professionally

  • Using welcoming and inclusive language

  • Being respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences

  • Gracefully accepting constructive criticism

  • Focusing on what is best for the community

  • Showing empathy towards other Community Members


Unacceptable Behavior

Examples of unacceptable behavior by program participants include:

  • Abusive language

  • Discourtesy or rudeness

  • Verbal, physical, or visual harassment

  • Actual or threatened violence toward any individual or group

  • Conduct endangering the life, safety, health, or well-being of others

  • Failure to follow any agency policy or procedure

  • Bullying or taking unfair advantage of any Community Member

  • Failing to cooperate with a leader or instructor

  • Possession or use of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs on TSoG’s property or reporting to the program while under the influence of drugs or alcohol

  • Bringing onto TSoG’s property dangerous or unauthorized materials such as explosives, firearms, weapons, or other similar items


Academic Dishonesty Policy

The Shoulders of Giants aims to help scholars of all ages achieve their academic, professional, and personal growth goals. To help us help you in these pursuits, we ask that you join us in fostering a culture of excellence and integrity. TSoG has the responsibility of encouraging and maintaining an atmosphere of academic honesty by being certain that Community Members are aware of the value of it, that they understand the regulations defining it, and that they know the penalties for departing from it.

Academic dishonesty includes plagiarism, cheating, academic sabotage, facilitating academic dishonesty, and fabrication. Suspected cases of dishonesty may be handled administratively and subject to a conduct review process.

Within TSoG Services

Community members are expected to maintain academic and professional integrity at all times while conducting themselves within the Services of The Shoulders of Giants. Examples of dishonesty include, but are not limited to:

  • Submitting someone else's work as your own.

  • Misrepresenting or denying the contributions of collaborators on a team project or activity.

  • Providing an intentionally misleading answer to another Community Member.


Outside TSoG Services

While The Shoulders of Giants does not have control of your behavior or academic performance outside of the Services, any action which may, intentionally or unintentionally, implicate TSoG in an act of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated.

Students are encouraged to ask questions freely and seek help from other Community Members, but must clearly identify questions which are directly related to homework, school projects, or other direct academic pursuits. Failure to do so may lead another Community Member to unknowingly "do your homework for you," which is a completely unacceptable violation of their trust and misuse of the generosity of the community.

Community Members responding to questions which have been identified as homework, school projects, or other direct academic pursuits are expected to answer in a way which may help the student solve the problem, but does not "do their homework for them." Examples might include providing suggestions or tips on how to get started on the problem, or providing a solution to a related but 'genericized' problem without providing a direct solution to the original problem itself.

Communication Policies

The Shoulders of Giants will strive to enforce positive communication between Community Members both in-person and within our internal communication platforms, as well as over other publicly-visible communication channels (such as Slack or YouTube comments). However, TSoG cannot control communication that happens between Community Members in private; for this reason, we strongly encourage our volunteers to refrain from private communication (such as via direct message) when using our Services.

This is especially important when it pertains to communications between Community Members over the age of 18 ("Adult(s)") and Community Members below the age of 18 ("Minor(s)"). Any reports of unwanted private communication between an Adult and Minor will be taken very seriously and may be subject to discipline, up to and including removal of the Adult from the Services.

Creating a Friendly Space

Please remember that all members of the TSoG community are colleagues in the pursuit of knowledge. We expect you to consider the following when engaging in discussion:

  • Context and background: Do I have a basic understanding of the context and background of the discussion? Have I made sure to educate myself before asking others to explain things to me?

  • Cultural differences: Am I being sensitive to cultural differences and language barriers?

  • Experience: Am I considering and not making assumptions about a person's level of experience?

  • Support: Am I framing my comments/questions in a supportive, concise, and constructive way, offering suggestions for improvement?

  • Impact focus: Are my questions focused on the impact on the discussion or project or am I overly focused on minor details?


Once you have considered these points, please feel free to participate in any and all discussions within the TSoG community.

Reporting incidents

If you believe that someone if violating the code of conduct, or have any other concerns, please contact us immediately by email:

COC Revision: Effective April 4, 2023

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