Senior Scientists and Engineers: Science Volunteer Programs

Here are programs that provide meaningful assistance to teachers and students, as well as great personal satisfaction and enrichment to the STEM professionals who volunteer. Help us expand this list by sending information about your program to the email address at the bottom of this page.

Program: AAAS/SSE STEM Volunteer Program
Leadership: AAAS Senior Scientists and Engineers, Washington, DC
Start Date: 2005
Description: 50 volunteers in elementary, middle, and high schools in Montgomery County, MD, Public Schools (MCPS) and in Fairfax County, VA, Public Schools (FCPS). Volunteers visit schools once a week
Support: AAAS, MCPS, and FCPS

Program: Adult Role Models in Science (ARMS)
Leadership: Center for Biology Education, University of Wisconsin
Start Date: 1990
Description: 75 students supporting after-school elementary and middle school science clubs
Support: University of Wisconsin

Program: Cool Science
Leadership: Cool Science, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
Start Date: 2003
Description: Supports grades 3-8 in El Paso County, CO; conducts demonstrations, shows, hands-on activities and workshops, Day of Science for an entire school, parent/teacher training workshops; 15 regular volunteers from industries, plus university students
Support: Local colleges, companies and individuals

Program: Community in the Classroom
Leadership: Community Resources for Science, 501(c)(3) nonprofit
Start Date: 2000
Description: 200+ volunteers in K-8 elementary schools in Alameda County, CA; volunteers commit to 10 hours per year
Support: Local foundations

Program: Kids’ Tech University Faculty Network
Leadership: Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech
Start Date: 2011
Description: Connects school teachers, students, and the public with Virginia Tech teaching and research faculty, postdocs, and graduate students interested in outreach
Support: Multiple sources including Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, Virginia 4-H and donations from the public and foundations

Program: Las Cruces Public Schools Science Advisor Program
Leadership: The Science Education Alliance, a non-profit, 501(c)(3), Educational Corporation, Las Cruces, NM, working under the auspices of the Las Cruces Public Schools
Start Date: 1991
Description: Over 70 volunteers, providing support to a range of K-12 activities
Support: Local businesses and foundations

Program:  Maine School Science Volunteers
Leadership: Senior community in southern Maine in the form of a 501(c)(3) organization
Start Date: 1995, with support from RE-SEED
Description: 20 volunteers in middle schools; Volunteers attend school once a week; some work in high schools or mentor in elementary schools
Support: IEEE Foundation, the Citigroup Foundation, and several local corporations

Program: RE-SEED
Leadership: Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Start Date: 1991, with National Science Foundation (NSF) funding
Description: Over 700 volunteers have been trained and placed with science teachers nationwide. In Massachusetts, 93 volunteers currently serve, primarily in middle schools; volunteers receive 32 hours of training before placement with a K-12 science teacher, and assist in the classroom 1 day a week.
Support: Northeastern University, EMC, NSF (as part of a Math and Science Partnership grant)

Program: RESEED Silicon Valley
Leadership: Senior community, San Jose, CA
Start Date: 1998, with NSF and local industry funding, in partnership with San Jose State University
Description: 20 volunteers in middle schools; volunteers attend school once a week
Support: Local companies

Program: ReSet
Leadership: Senior community, Washington, DC
Start Date: 1988
Description: 25 volunteers in the District of Columbia, Montgomery and Baltimore Counties in Maryland, and Arlington County in Virginia; volunteers are assigned to an elementary school class and commit to six hours a term
Support: Businesses, foundations, and professional societies

Program: Santa Fe Alliance for Science
Leadership: Senior community, Santa Fe, NM, in the form of a 501(c)(3)
Start Date: 2005
Description: More than 85 volunteers, providing support to a range of K-12 activities
Support: Funding from the LANL (Los Alamos National Laboratory) Foundation; Los Alamos National Bank; McCune Foundation; Qforma, Inc.; Strategic Analytics, Inc.; Santa Fe Partners in Education; and other companies and individuals

Program: Science and Health Education Partnership (SEP)
Leadership: University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
Start Date: 1987
Description: Scientist volunteers from UCSF and educators from the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) work in partnership to support quality science education for K-12 students; in 2007-08, over 250 volunteers contributed more than 20 hours each in SFUSD classrooms
Support: UCSF, private foundations, industry, and NIH

Program: Science Education Partnership
Leadership: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle
Start Date: 1990
Description: Professional development program for secondary school science teachers; ongoing teacher support, including lesson plans, experiment kits, biotechnology equipment and resource library; students work in teams of 3-5 with a middle or high school teacher and SEP staff to design interactive seminars as part of teacher summer program; students get teaching assistant credit needed for PhD requirements; 128 students since 1996; 5 students in 2009
Support: Boeing Company Charitable Trust, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Program: Sciencebridge
Leadership: University of California, San Diego UCSD)
Start Date: 2006
Description: Teacher training; lab kits; IT training for teachers and students; Science Festival; GK-12 program; course credits for undergraduate and graduate students; over 100 undergraduate and 50 graduate students participating
Support: Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Science Foundation, Department of Education

Program: SEPAL: The Science Education Partnership and Assessment Laboratory
Leadership: San Francisco State University (SFSU), Department of Biology
Start Date: 2004
Description: Undergraduate and graduate students across the sciences partner with K-12 teachers to co-plan and co-teach science lessons in classrooms and in after-school science clubs during the academic year; during the 2009-2010 school year, more than 45 science students engaged in over 26 partnerships with teachers at San Francisco Bay Area elementary, middle, and high schools
Support: National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Program: STEM Program at MIT
Leadership: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Office of Engineering Outreach Programs
Description: Undergraduates teach 5-week Summer Institute of middle school students, then mentor these students during the school year
Support: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Program: Vistas and TOPS (Teaching Opportunities for Partners in Science)
Leadership: San Joaquin County Office of Education, Stockton, CA
Start Date: 1993 with funding from California Postsecondary Education Commission
Description: 42 volunteers in elementary schools in 5 northern California counties; volunteers commit to 80 hours per year
Support: Funding includes $1400 per volunteer, paid by participating schools, plus portions of grants

Program: Vols4STEM
Leadership: Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers
Start Date: 2008
Description: Volunteers mentor students and make presentations in Knox County Schools
Support: Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers

Program: VT-STEM
Leadership: Virginia Tech
Start Date:
Description: Wide range of STEM community programs; 2714 undergraduates, 168 graduate students, either pro bono or receiving course credit; 172 faculty, 15 administrators
Support: Multiple sources

Send information about your program to: sse@aaas.org