• Developing Scientists through Outreach

    Developing Scientists through Outreach

    Keynote Speakers: Emily Rice (College of Staten Island, CUNY), Mark Stewart (SUNY Downstate Medical Center), and Robert Tai (University of Virginia)Presented by the State University of New York and the New York Academy of Sciences
    Reported by Alla Katsnelson | Posted April 19, 2016


    Research scientists who employ their subject expertise and enthusiasm to mentor school children in science and related topics often find the experience personally meaningful and professionally valuable. Children who receive mentorship, particularly those in underprivileged communities, benefit from opportunities to explore their own potential, to identify rewarding careers, and to build the skills and confidence needed to succeed. But research institutions often do not prioritize science outreach and sometimes actively stigmatize it.

    Nonetheless, research careers can no longer be built on the basis of solitary work at the bench or telescope. Science is increasingly collaborative, and researchers need communication and teaching skills. Meanwhile, growing numbers of science trainees will not pursue long-term academic careers and must gain transferable skills during their studies. Participation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) mentoring programs is a way for them to help struggling communities while also gaining valuable experience.

    On February 18–19, 2016, the State University of New York and the New York Academy of Sciences convened a two-part conference on Developing Scientists through Outreach, the first day titled Defining Quality for the Scientist and the second titled Best Practices in Recruitment and Program Design. A series of presentations, panel discussions, and interactive workshops, explored programs that place STEM students and postdocs in K–12 learning environments to mentor and teach—a well-known strategy to repair the leaky STEM pipeline. The group sought to determine best practices to grow and better synthesize various mentoring programs. Participants also discussed the benefits both children and mentors gain from mentoring programs, as well as how to incentivize scientists to participate in these and other forms of outreach.

    Use the tabs above to find a meeting report and multimedia from this event.

    Presentations available from:
    Emily Rice, PhD (College of Staten Island, CUNY)
    Rachel Stephenson, MFA (CUNY Service Corps)
    Mark Stewart, MD, PhD (SUNY Downstate Medical Center)
    Robert Tai, EdD (University of Virginia)
    Moderator: Jeanne Garbarino, PhD (The Rockefeller University)
    Moderator: Meghan Groome, PhD (The New York Academy of Sciences)

    Presented by

    • The State University of New York
    • The New York Academy of Sciences


    • National Science Foundation
    • The Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program is supported in part by the National Science Foundation (DRL-1223303). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

      How to cite this eBriefing

      The New York Academy of Sciences. Developing Scientists through Outreach. Academy eBriefings. 2016. Available at: