Are you up for a rewarding challenge?
Are you looking for a meaningful way to make a difference in your
community while fulfilling your service-learning requirements?
Are you interested in working with urban youth to help them engage
in science investigations?
If so, you may 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.
This program involves helping young people learn more about something
that excites their curiosity through firsthand experience. What’s
a firsthand science experience? It might be taking apart a machine
to see how it works, dipping a net into a pond and examining the contents,
observing how squirrels gather nuts, or any other activity that get
you directly exploring your world. As a team, you and your mentee(s)
investigate a scientific topic that intrigues all of you. The mentor
provides guidance and support, but doesn’t need any special
scientific content knowledge. This on-going relationship built on
collaborative activity can change the way the young teens envision
their futures. Many of these young people have never seen a college
campus or perhaps even have met a college student, so the mentoring
relationship can enhance their academic aspirations.
If you would like to know more about Science Firsthand, contact
to a short survey so that we can learn about your interests and needs,
or click on the following for further information.
What is a science mentor?
What is a Community-based Organization?
Examine the Science Firsthand Manual for College Mentors.
Voices from the Field
Seeing what my students get out of science was rewarding. It’s
exciting to see them getting excited about learning…I also learned
a lot from helping students.
I think overall it was a great experience. I feel that I made the
correct career choice. I know for sure I want to be a teacher. This
was my first teaching experience.
The kids were able to get one-on-one attention and could express what
was bothering them. This made them feel better when they could talk
about how they were feeling. Also the kids felt empowered when I let
them solve things for themselves.
Interaction with young students reminded me of the excitement
I realized how much I love working with kids. I now want to change
my major so I can.