In 2004, the SSE decided to develop a Program, similar to TOPS  and RE-SEED , to place senior scientists and engineers in middle schools in the Montgomery County (MD) Public Schools (MCPS). The MCPS STEM Volunteer Project now has 30 volunteers supporting K-12 science teachers. In 2008, SSE established a similar program in the Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools (FCPS). Twenty volunteers are now part of the FCPS STEM Volunteer Project and support K-12 teachers in the county. Each volunteer commits to 20 days in a school year, with the specifics of the support developed jointly with the teacher. A set of supporting documents , tailored for each school district, has been developed. The set shown is for the MCPS Project.
Some of the activities being carried out by the SSE STEM volunteers include:
The volunteer programs have been fully embraced by the vast majority of the participating science teachers. Their enthusiasm is demonstrated below:
The satisfaction gained by the volunteers is demonstrated by the following testimonials:
The motivation of the volunteers is best expressed by the following email:
“I am a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon practicing in Fairfax, Va. From my undergraduate days tutoring physics to my current practice, I have strived to always educate as much as possible. As a dad and business owner in Fairfax, I find myself at a time and place in my life where I would like to give back to the community that supports me and help prepare the next generation of US-trained and employed scientists and practitioners working in STEM fields.
STEM careers are projected to have enormous impact on the future economy. I feel that we have a responsibility to provide solid education and training in STEM, and to help students explore these growing fields. Our students must not only be prepared to compete for jobs in the United States; they must be able to compete in the global community.
I think I have a unique skill set which could be helpful in the education of our students. Please let me know how I may be of help.”
The enthusiasm of teachers and volunteers was demonstrated at the April 2011 AAAS-SSE Annual Meeting, which highlighted many aspects of the volunteer experience through a panel discussion led by Dr. Shirley Malcom, Head, AAAS Education and Human Resources. The panelists discussed the benefits that volunteers bring to teachers and students, the satisfaction gained by volunteers, and the challenges of integrating volunteers into the classroom. An article about the presentation and video clips of the panel discussion can be viewed through the links below.
AAAS News Article  (view online, AAAS News Archives)AAAS News Article  (view PDF)Video about Volunteering – Overview Video about Volunteering in Elementary Schools Video about Volunteering in Secondary Schools