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The Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program

Inspire the Next Generation of Scientists

The New York Academy of Sciences’ Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program (ASMP) recruits STEM professionals looking to reignite their passion for the sciences through the eyes of young scientists. Accepted mentors are connected with a group of elementary and middle school students and age appropriate curriculum with the goal of inspiring a lifelong interest in STEM. The program brings in research fellows, undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, transitional scientists, or R&D specialists together to remember the pure curiosity of asking questions and finding new answers.

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 throughout the year. For our spring term, participants commit to teaching one-hour sessions once a week, for a total of 10 sessions running from March 4th - June 14th, 2024. Participating Mentors receive training in STEM curriculum and youth development, and work with on-site staff to co-implement weekly sessions.

Our Impact

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.


Danielle Mink-Bellizzi

ASMP, NYAS Education

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 children have never met or interacted with a “real” scientist, particularly in the most underserved neighborhoods. By being students’ positive role model as a real-world scientist or engineer, you can inspire curiosity and excitement about STEM topics, and positively influence the career aspirations of young minds 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

+ What changes have been made to ASMP because of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Volunteer scientists participated virtually during the 2020-21 school year, through the summer, and into the fall of 2021. For the spring 2022 semester, some mentors participated virtually, some hybrid, and some fully in person. Summer 2022 marks the return to fully in person ASMP programming.

+ How much time is involved and what is my responsibility as an ASMP mentor?

  • Mentors commit to teaching 1 hour of hands-on lessons per week on site for approximately 10-12 weeks (plus travel time), with NYAS-provided curriculum.
    • Sessions times differ from site to site, but typically run between 3:30-6PM during the school year and 1:00pm-6:00pm during the summer
  • Fingerprinting and background clearance documents must be submitted by mentors as required by their host school or site
  • Additional planning time for these lessons is expected weekly with co-mentors and site-specific staff
  • Mandatory curriculum training takes 2 hours at the beginning of the semester and mandatory midpoint training during the semester is 1 hour; both trainings occur virtually

+ Do you offer stipends or other forms of compensation?

  • Scientists will receive a stipend of $500 at the completion of their participation.
  • Participants will also receive complimentary Membership to the New York Academy of Sciences
  • A travel reimbursement of up to $150 is available per semester
  • COVID-related costs reimbursement is also available (ie. site-required PCR tests)

Note: All participants will be required to complete necessary tax forms prior to the start of the program. Non-U.S. Citizens/Permanent Residents may also be subject to payment restrictions. Please contact us for more details.

+ Who is eligible to be an ASMP Mentor?

Qualified ASMP Mentors are:

  • Working professionals in a STEM field looking to give back, or renew/share their own passion for the sciences
  • Undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, or those in a professional development phase of their STEM career
  • Passionate about inspiring youth to pursue STEM mindset, studies, and careers
  • Committed to the program training and mentorship schedule
  • Local to the NYC area
  • 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

+ What are the requirements to apply?

  • 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).

Spring 2024 program timeline: subject to change

  • January 16th: Applications for the Spring term close

  • Rolling (February 3rd): Mentor Interviews & Acceptance Letters

  • February 12th - Rolling: Mentor Orientation (Virtual)

  • March 2nd: Scientists Curriculum Workshop (In-Person)

  • March 4th - March 8th: ASMP Class Team Planning Week (1-hour Virtual Meeting)

  • March 11th - 15th: Spring ASMP In-Class Sessions Begin (10 Sessions Total)

  • Mid-April: Midpoint Check-Ins (1-hour Virtual Workshop)

  • June 14th: ASMP Spring 2024 In-Class Sessions End

  • June 24th: Certificates and Stipends are Awarded


Danielle Mink-Bellizzi

ASMP, NYAS Education

Meet Daniel Gilmer, an Afterschool STEM Mentor
Afterschool STEM Mentoring
Afterschool STEM Mentoring

"Chat with a Scientist" Events

During the school year, the Academy holds virtual “Chat with a Scientist” events in an effort to create a space for middle and high school students (and their families) to engage with real scientists, live.

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

Chat with a Scientist has wrapped up for the school year. Check out the on demand library of Chat with a Scientist '21-'22 event recordings at and tune in again live in the fall!

Past Events:

The Impact of Climate Change

April 21st, 2022 5-6pm ET

  • Caroline Juang, PhD Candidate of Earth & Environmental Environmental Sciences, Columbia University
  • Jose Rafael Guarin, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Columbia Climate School, Columbia University; NASA GISS

Materials Science and Sustainability

April 14th, 2022 5-6pm ET

  • Alana Guzzetta, P.E., U.S. Concrete National Research Laboratory Manager
  • Neel S. Joshi, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Northeastern University

The Science of Environmental Policy

March 17th, 2022 5-6pm ET

  • Mahmoud Abouelnaga, Solutions Fellow, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)
  • Sonia Wang, Policy Analyst, Co-owner and Student

Water and Sustainability

March 3rd, 2022 5-6pm ET

  • Shah Selbe, Founder, FieldKit and Conservify
  • Haydee Salmun, Associate Professor, Hunter College & The Graduate Center, CUNY

Sustainable Fashion

February 10th, 2022 5-6pm ET

  • Theanne Schiros, PhD, Associate Professor, Fashion Institute of Technology
  • Yuly Fuentes, MIT the Future of Fabrics

Environmental Justice and Technology

February 3, 2022 5-6pm ET

  • Behruz Mahmudov, Independent Researcher and Activist, Teens Take Charge
  • Joseph Kerski, MD, Geographer, Manager, Esri Education

Building Sustainably

January 13th, 2022 5-6pm ET

  • Suman Gidwani, Co-Founder, EnergyGrade
  • Jonathan Lane, Vice President of Infrastructure Innovation, NYC Economic Development Corporation

Sustainable Transport and Mobility

January 6th, 2022 5-6pm ET

  • Stacey Matlen, Director of Innovation Programs, Partnership for NYC
  • Lauren Rennee, Senior Project Manager, NYC DOT's Bicycle Unit"

The Science of Air Quality

December 16, 2021 5-6pm ET

  • Madee Ku, PE, Product Advocate, Temboo
  • Darren Riley, CEO & Founder, JustAir

Afterlife of Waste

December 2, 2021 5-6pm ET

  • Dr. Samantha MacBride, Section Chief, Research and Optimization, Bureau of Wastewater Treatment, NYC Department of Environmental Protection
  • Sashti Balasundaram, Founder, WeRadiate

Sustainable Food Production

November 18, 2021 5-6pm ET

  • Tinia Pina, Founder & CEO, Re-Nuble
  • Reilly Cooper, Microbial Ecologist, Upward Farm

Renewable Energy

November 11, 2021 5-6pm ET

  • Amanda Colombo, Project Development Analyst, Safari Energy
  • Obste Therasme, Assistant Professor, SUNY ESF

The role of robotics and automation in vaccine development

May 11, 2021, 4-5PM ET

  • Alexi Palmer, MHSc, Senior Associate Scientist, Pfizer
  • Dominique Prophete, Associate Scientist, Pfizer

How research in cells and animals lead can lead to therapeutics for humans

March 31, 2021, 4-5PM ET

  • Jian An, PhD, Senior Scientist, Pfizer
  • Cyndi Pinkus, Scientist, Pfizer

Drug Development for Metabolic and Rare Diseases

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

How Drug Development and Clinical Trials Really Work

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

Journeys to Working in the Pharmaceutical Industry

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


Danielle Mink-Bellizzi

ASMP, NYAS Education