The Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program
Inspire the Next Generation of Scientists
The New York Academy of Sciences’ Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program (ASMP) recruits undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, and STEM professionals to mentor elementary and middle school students with the goal of inspiring a lifelong interest in STEM. In partnership with the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), participants are placed at one of our many afterschool sites around New York City and commit to virtually teaching one-hour sessions each week, over 10-12 weeks. Participating Mentors receive training in STEM curriculum and youth development, and work with a site staff partner to implement weekly sessions.
Since our launch in 2010, we have placed over 1,000 scientists into afterschool programs all over the NYC area and impacted 15,000+ students! Check out the map below to see some of our most recent Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program sites.
Program Coordinator, Global STEM Alliance
ASMP is possible because of generous support from our program sponsors:
The Carson Family Charitable Trust
Contact us if your organization is interested in supporting programs like this!
Why should you become an ASMP mentor?
Young people who have the opportunity to meet real scientists and engineers — and who are exposed to science through active inquiry-based learning — are more likely to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Yet many of our children have never met or interacted with a “real” scientist, particularly in our most underserved neighborhoods. By serving as a positive role model of a real-world scientist or engineer, you can inspire curiosity and excitement about STEM topics, and positively influence the career aspirations of students in NYC.
Need more incentive? Accepted participants also receive a stipend and a yearlong Membership to the New York Academy of Sciences!
Frequently Asked Questions
Though ASMP normally takes place in person, all our volunteer scientists will be participating virtually during the 2020-21 school year (through the end of summer 2021). This policy is in place to best protect the safety of both our participants and students, while still maintaining accessibility to our program.
In order to facilitate participation, scientists will be sent full lesson kits to their home (the same materials that students will have) and join their weekly sessions using a video link sent by their site director
Mentors commit to teaching 1 hour of lessons per week for approximately 10-12 weeks. Additional planning time for these lessons are expected, but done at the discretion of the participant.
- Sessions times differ from site to site, but typically run between 3:30-6PM
- Mentors participating in the program will collaborate with their Site Staff partner to deliver our interactive, hand-on curricula to students throughout the semester
- Participants will also complete trainings on curriculum/youth development and are asked to submit regular updates to Program Managers
- Scientists will receive a stipend of $500 at the completion of their participation.
- Participants will also receive a complimentary Membership to the New York Academy of Sciences
Note: All participants will be required to complete necessary tax forms prior to the start of the program. Non- US Citizens/Permanent Residents may also be subject to payment restrictions. Please contact us for more details.
Qualified ASMP mentors are:
- Undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, or professionals in a STEM field
- Passionate about inspiring youth to pursue STEM studies and careers
- Committed to the program training and teaching schedule
- Prepared to complete a background check and online compliance training, adhering to local and state policies regarding working with minors.
- These are done at no cost to the Mentor.
- Some sites may also require a health form signed by a doctor.
- In addition to completing our online application, mentors are encouraged (but not required) to submit a letter of acknowledgement from their PI or supervising scientist stating their awareness of the once-a-week commitment.
- Prior to participation, all applicants are subject to a background check, administered by the Department of Youth and Community Development (at no cost to the scientist).
Program Coordinator, Global STEM Alliance
"Chat with a Scientist" Events
During the 2020-21 school year, the Academy will be holding virtual “Chat with a Scientist” events in an effort to create a space for K-12 students (and their families) to engage with some of our members during this ongoing pandemic.
These Chats are hour-long, interactive webinars that give scientists the opportunity to talk to students in our programs about their paths into science, the work they currently do, and answer live questions. Our main goal is to provide students with the opportunity to “meet” and engage with scientists, and hopefully to spark their interest in learning more or even considering science in their own futures.
Through this one-time commitment, scientists who participate will have the opportunity to:
- Inspire curiosity and excitement about STEM
- Positively influence the career aspirations of students from underserved communities
- Make a difference in the lives of budding young scientists
If you are a graduate student, post-doc or STEM professional and are interested in being featured in a Chat with a Scientist event, please email email@example.com
May 11, 2021, 4-5PM ET
- Alexi Palmer, MHSc, Senior Associate Scientist, Pfizer
- Dominique Prophete, Associate Scientist, Pfizer
March 31, 2021, 4-5PM ET
- Jian An, PhD, Senior Scientist, Pfizer
- Cyndi Pinkus, Scientist, Pfizer
February 25, 2021; 4-5PM ET
- Allan Reyes, Principal Scientist, Internal Medicine Research Unit, Pfizer
- Alexandra Srnka, Senior Associate Scientist working in the Rare Disease Research Unit, Pfizer
December 16, 2020; 4-5PM ET
- Jyoti Ramakrisha, MD, MPH, Director of Clinical Research, Pfizer
- Aarti Sawant Basak, PhD, Associate Director of Clinical Pharmacology, Pfizer
December 1, 2020; 4-5PM ET
- Seng H. Cheng, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of the Rare Disease Research Unit, Pfizer
- Monica Schenone, PhD, Lead for the East Coast Chemical Biology Group, Pfizer
Senior Program Manager, Global STEM Alliance