Adult Volunteer
Would you like to mentor an urban child in a program where the goal is to pursue a science topic of the child’s interest?

If so, you many be interested in Science Firsthand: Partners in Discovery.

Science Firsthand: Partners in Discovery (SF) is an after-school mentoring program for children ranging in age from 10 to 15.

SF brings together supportive adults with inner-city youth to investigate science topics of mutual interest. Mentors work collaboratively with one or several mentees at local community-based organizations (CBOs) that are equipped with simple tools and materials to support exploration and experimentation. The goal is to build enjoyment in science, to develop skills, and to gain confidence in one’s own abilities.

If you are interested in supporting underserved children and you like the idea of helping young people to explore topics that interest them, this might be the opportunity you are looking for. Adult mentors spend an hour or two each week working with youth in after-school settings such as a community-based organization (CBO). The CBOs have a dedicated space, such as a small laboratory, equipped with tools and resources for exploring the immediate environment surrounding the center. Children engaged in this program often gain confidence in their academic abilities because they are exploring topics they have chosen themselves. The role of the adult is to support these investigations by helping children to record and learn from their firsthand observations.

If you would like to know more, contact us, respond to a short survey so that we can learn about your interests and needs, or click on one of the following:

What is a science mentor?

Examine the Science Firsthand Manual for College Mentors.

Examine the Science Firsthand Implementation Manual.

Voices from the Field
I think they learned real concepts and I feel like a lot of them would like to explore them further. I think a lot would go home to their families and talk about it. They were really excited about experiments they could do at home.

It’s provided the opportunity for kids who have interest in science to work with other students with similar interests and see science as fun, and it supports their interest in a way that isn’t possible in a regular classroom setting. I anticipate some of these kids will continue on in high school or college that might not have otherwise. They can see themselves as scientists or science teachers and couldn’t see themselves in that light just from classroom experiences.

Center Director

My student didn’t seem to like science, but it changed. In the beginning I had to coax him in. Over time, he seemed to enjoy the activities and what we were doing. He opened up more.

I saw this girl I used to do science with. She came up to me and talked to me about the caterpillar experiment that she did on her own.