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Getting kids involved in science, outside of the classroom.

A conversation with a friend last night reminded me of some posts I wrote earlier about helping scientists connect to programs for helping students.

My friend, as a parent, approached this idea, of connecting scientists with students, from a different angle.

She wanted to know how you go about connecting students with science?

  • What do you do if the science program at your kid’s high school seems a little, well, uninspiring?
  • If the teachers aren’t interested, how do you help?
  • How do you create opportunities for kids to get involved in doing some kind of science?

As I talked to her, despite all the difficulties flashing before me eyes, I realized that I do know some things about finding science opportunities, at least in my community, and I could help by writing about them. I’ve written a few things about ways that scientists can connect, now, it’s time to write about ideas for students.

Here are some of the different ways that high school kids can participate in science:

  • School science clubs or other kinds of school clubs with a service component, or other organizations like Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, or Campfire.
  • Participate in some kind of outreach program
  • Volunteer somewhere
  • Contests and fairs
  • Paid internships

I’ll write about each topic, in no particular order. If you have ideas, questions, or suggestions, I’d be glad to hear them.


  1. #1 Rob Pyatt
    December 8, 2008

    Scientists without Boarders is just getting started but there is a ton of potential there including working with international students.

    The was included in the latest email from the New York Academy of Science. It sounds great for those in the geographic area.

    Volunteer Opportunities for Scientists

    The Bard High School Early Colleges are seeking scientists to participate in their Young Scholars Program. The program connects students to science through primary literature discussion groups and by hosting a seminar series where scientists talk to students about their research. A select group of students is also available for research internships.

    Consider volunteering to be a speaker in the series, providing papers for discussion groups, or interviewing students for an internship. For more information contact Patricia Cole, BHSEC II Science Liaison at 718-271-4171, extension 1121, or by e-mail at cole@bard.edu.

  2. #2 Nir
    December 12, 2008

    Introduce your kid to Fold It!, a computer game enabling them to contribute to important scientific research, and in the while teaching about (protein) science.

  3. #3 Lisa
    December 15, 2008

    FoldIt is a great idea as is Annotathon!
    Annotathon! is the project you wrote about in a recent blog post Using a “distributed grid of undergraduate students” to annotate genomes.

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