Are you looking for an opportunity to use your skills to help underserved
children in your local community?
Do you have time that you could devote to helping develop a community-based
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.
As you probably know, many community-based organizations would like
to enrich their after-school science learning opportunities for urban
children, but they lack the skills and resources to do so. They would
welcome the expertise of teachers to help them to do this. Science
Firsthand provides a proven model for giving urban children science-rich
experiences in a mentoring environment. The program provides for a
laboratory of science materials, management of that laboratory, and
mentors made up of local college students and community volunteers.
If you are interested in setting up such a program, contact
us, respond to a short survey so that we can learn about your
interests and needs, or seek out more information from one of the
What is a science mentor?
Examine the Science Firsthand Implementation Manual.
Examine the Science Firsthand
Manual for College Mentors.
Voices from the Field
The main goals are to get kids interested in science and doing it
through hands-on experiments, developing relationships in small groups
with the manager, and giving kids choice – ‘What are you
interested in, what would you like to try?’
This program gives children a chance to ask their own questions
and to find an answer.
Kids love it. We did a survey last year, 100% of kids enjoyed
it [even those] I never thought would be interested in science…
There’s not as much time spent on science and social studies,
it’s not a priority in Buffalo because of the emphasis on standardized
tests. This fills the void.