• Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program

  • Apply Now for the NYC Summer Mentoring Experience!

    Begun in Fall 2010, the New York Academy of Sciences Afterschool STEM Mentoring program recruits graduate and postdoctoral students from universities in New York City, Newark, and Upstate New York to volunteer to mentor one afternoon a week in underserved 4th through 8th grade afterschool classrooms at organizations like the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Clubs. Mentors can choose to teach a variety of curriculum ranging from genetics to space science and can receive an Academy Mentor Teaching Credential for completing a semester of teaching and training.

    How does it work?

    This Summer (July 2015):

    The Academy has partnered with the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) to enhance summer camps during the four weeks of July with a curriculum about nutrition and how food is farmed. Graduate and postdoctoral students apply to be an Academy Mentor and if accepted are assigned to teach with a partner twice a week during camp hours for a total of eight 90-minute sessions during the four weeks of July. The twenty sites participating in the summer program are located throughout the five boroughs. Traveling will be required, whenever possible mentors will be placed at a site near their home or work.

    Once accepted and assigned, Mentors receive one day of training on Saturday, June 13, 2015, to learn how to teach a set of nutrition lessons and will view a series of training videos on youth development and pedagogy. As they teach the curriculum, Mentors should consider how these concepts connect to field trips to a local urban farm and a science field trip of the mentors choosing.

    Mentors will work with their partner and their assigned site’s camp director to decide upon an appropriate schedule for the eight camp sessions and three required field trips.

    Mentors who complete twenty-four hours of teaching and training over the summer will receive a New York Academy of Sciences Mentor Teaching Credential, as well as a $1,000 stipend. Since this is a stipend opportunity, applicants must be legally allowed to work in the United States.


    1. Mentors will teach two 90 minute sessions per week during the 4 weeks in July summer camp.
    2. Mentors will attend three separate field trips with their class:
      • two trips to a local urban farm (either Randall’s Island or a Brooklyn Grange Location)
      • one science field trip of the mentor’s choosing to fit the themes of nutrition and making food connections
    3. Mentors must submit a letter of acknowledgement from their supervising scientist stating that they are aware of the twice-a-week commitment to the volunteer teaching program and that they support the Mentor's commitment to this program during the month of July. Letters should be emailed to with the subject line "Fellowship Letter of Support" in conjunction with the submission of the fellow's online application. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about this requirement.
    4. Mentors must complete two trainings: one to learn the nutrition module on Saturday, June 13, and the video introduction to Youth Development and Pedagogy.
    5. All volunteers must complete a background check through the Department of Health at no cost to the Mentor, as well as a health form signed by a doctor.

    What is a Mentor?

    1. A graduate student or postdoctoral student in a STEM field.
    2. Interested in volunteering in their community and gaining teaching experience.
    3. Driven to inspire 4th through 8th graders to love science.

    If you fit this description and are interested in working with youth, we encourage you to apply. Applications are accepted until June 8. For more information, please contact

  • Partners

    • Department of Youth and Community Development
    • Citizen Schools

    The New York Academy of Sciences Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program, in collaboration with the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), will match NYC's graduate students and postdocs with afterschool programs in New York City. The program will address the dearth of access to hands-on science for underserved communities by delivering new and engaging curricula to middle school students.


    This program was made possible by generous support from the The Achelis and Bodman Foundations, The Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Fordham Street Foundation, Goldman Sachs Gives - Paul Walker, The William Randolph Hearst Foundations, Infosys Foundation USA, The Pamela B. and Thomas C. Jackson Fund, Drs. Gabrielle Reem and Herbert Kayden, Laurie J. Landeau, Martin Leibowitz, National Science Foundation (DRL 1223303), New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York Community Trust, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, The Pinkerton Foundation, PricewaterhouseCoopers, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Staten Island Foundation, Verizon Foundation, and The Laura B. Vogler Foundation.

    Grant Support

    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.