Imagine a Scientist in Every School
Welcome to New York STEM City!
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). And New York City needs more scientists and engineers! Today the city is poised to become the world’s leading market for STEM jobs, and yet many of our children have never met or interacted with a “real” scientist, particularly in our most underserved neighborhoods. That’s why the New York Academy of Sciences is embarking on an unprecedented effort to put a scientist in every underserved public middle school across all five boroughs of New York City. And we need your help! To learn how you or your organization can participate, contact us today.
The Fundamentals are in Place
In 2010 the Academy partnered with New York City’s Department of Youth and Community Development to launch the Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program (ASMP), an initiative to grow STEM literacy among middle school children in underserved neighborhoods. ASMP trains young scientists and engineers to act as instructors, mentors, and role models, and places them in afterschool sites around New York and New Jersey.
“The program really helped me to view learning from the students’ perspective. It also helped my understanding of how they think and develop as people.”
-Scientist Participant, SiR
Building on this early success, in 2014 we added the Scientist-in-Residence (SiR) program, which pairs scientists with public school teachers to develop inquiry-based research projects for the classroom. By building partnerships between teachers and scientists, this innovative program not only provides students the opportunity to engage in authentic, hands-on research, it also gives teachers the critical support they need to bring scientific inquiry to life in the classroom.
Both ASMP and SiR further extend their impact through Family Science Nights, which are held at schools or local community-based organizations in each of the five boroughs. These interactive events engage students and families in fun activities designed to help parents feel more comfortable with STEM content. Importantly, these events also allow the students to become the experts and to think of themselves as scientists.
“The scientist was wonderful — helpful, engaged, interested in my students and pedagogy … I want to participate again!”
-Teacher Participant, SiR
The combined impact of these programs has been tremendous. Since the original launch of ASMP in 2010, we have:
- Trained and placed over 1,000 scientists
- Engaged more than 13,000 students from underserved primary and middle schools
- Delivered 132,000 learning hours of engaging STEM content in locations across New York and New Jersey
Now Let’s Take it to the Next Level!
Today — with the generous support of our sponsors — we are able to train and place scientists in 40 public schools annually, in some of the most underserved neighborhoods in the city. But we can do better! Our goal is to turn NYC into STEM City by putting a scientist in every underserved public middle school across all five boroughs within the next five years. To find out how you can help, contact us today.
Our goal is to turn NYC into STEM City, by putting a scientist in every underserved middle school across the five boroughs!
Young people who are exposed to science through active inquiry-based learning are more likely to pursue STEM careers. And one of the most effective ways to engage students in this type of learning is to give them the opportunity to conduct authentic scientific research with a real scientist!
A Partnership Between Teachers and Scientists
The Scientist-in-Residence (SiR) program matches scientists—including graduate students, postdocs, and professionals—with New York City public school teachers to bring scientific inquiry to life in the classroom. Scientists from all disciplines are welcome to apply, particularly those with expertise in computer science, software engineering, and information technology. The scientist and teacher collaborate to scope out and lead a long-term, independent research project that prepares students to engage in their own independent research, while also exposing them to vital computer science techniques. Regardless of their disciplinary area, Scientists-in-Residence serve as experts on the scientific method, project design, and literature review. The program builds teacher capacity to structure and lead future STEM projects, while giving participating scientists the opportunity to develop their pedagogical skills, and explore science teaching as a potential career.
For more information about how you can participate in or support SiR, contact Rowena Kuo at email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
- To make a difference! By serving as a positive role model of a real-world scientist, you can inspire curiosity and excitement about STEM topics, and positively influence the career aspirations of students from underserved communities.
- To enhance your mentoring and teaching skills: Fellows receive training and hands-on experience in pedagogical methods and strategies.
- To broaden your professional network and resume. Fellows earn a yearlong Membership to the New York Academy of Sciences.
Once accepted and matched with a teacher, each SiR Fellow is required to attend two evening convenings, plus one full day planning session at the New York Academy of Sciences.
After orientation and training, Fellows dedicate 8–10 hours of classroom time per month (not including travel) over the course of one to two semesters. Specific responsibilities will differ depending on the circumstances of each teacher and classroom. At a minimum, participating scientists will collaborate with the teacher(s) to implement the project, supervise experiments, and support classroom instruction on project design and implementation. Working as a Scientist-in-Residence may also entail supervising experiments, administering lessons to students on the concepts needed to understand the project, assisting students in data collection and analysis, and preparing a final presentation at the end of the semester.
The majority of time dedicated to the project will occur during the school day (8:00 AM - 3:00 PM), but some afterschool time may also be scheduled
SiR Fellows will have a budget of $300 to use for their project, and will receive a $500 stipend upon completion of their term.
Qualified Scientists-in-Residence are:
- Undergrads, graduate students, postdocs, or professionals from STEM disciplines who are interested in expanding their teaching experience and skills
- Located within commuting distance of New York City
- Able to provide a letter of support from their supervising scientist
- Individuals with a passion for serving their communities and inspiring the next generation of scientists and thinkers
- In addition to completing the application form, applicants must submit a letter of support from their PI or supervising scientist acknowledging the time commitment to this volunteer program. Letters should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Scientist-in-Residence Letter of Acknowledgment and Support in conjunction with the submission of the Scientist-in-Residence's online application. Please contact us if you have questions about this requirement.
- All applicants are subject to a background check, administered by the Department of Education and the Department of Health (at no cost to the scientist).
Applications for the 2018/2019 academic year are now closed. Applications for 2019/2020 school year will open in the Spring of 2019 . If you would like to be notified when the application period opens, please sign up here . For any other questions, please contact Program Manager, Rowena Kuo at email@example.com.
Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program
The Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program (ASMP) recruits young scientists and engineers to mentor middle school students in underserved communities throughout New York City, with the goal of inspiring a lifelong interest in STEM. In partnership with the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), ASMP assigns mentors to selected after-school program sites to teach a variety of curriculum, ranging from genetics to space science. Participating Mentors receive training in STEM curriculum and youth development, then work in pairs to implement weekly sessions. Upon completion of the program, Mentors receive a New York Academy of Sciences Mentoring Credential.
Frequently Asked Questions
- To hone your coaching and communication skills. Mentors receive training and hands-on experience in pedagogy and youth development.
- To broaden your resume. Mentors who complete 30 hours of mentoring and training during a single school year will receive a New York Academy of Sciences Mentoring Credential.
- To make a difference! 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 from underserved communities.
We offer a wide variety of pre-approved curricula for Mentors to select from. You can download short descriptions for the full list of available curricula here.
Mentors are required to attend a one-day training session on a selected STEM topic at the New York Academy of Sciences. They will also need to complete a short online training module on youth development and pedagogy. Once the training is complete, Mentors are paired up and assigned to teach at a selected after-school program site once a week during after school hours (between 3:30 pm – 6 pm). Each weekly teaching session is 45–60 minutes. The Mentor teams work with after-school program directors to determine timing of the weekly sessions. The program typically runs in the Fall and Spring semesters, however we will also be offering a session during Summer 2019. Recruiting for the Summer 2019 program will open in the Spring.
Qualified ASMP Mentor applicants are:
- Undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, or professionals in a STEM field
- Within commuting distance of New York City
- Passionate about inspiring youth to pursue STEM studies and careers
- Committed to the program training and teaching schedule
To be considered for the program, applicants must:
- Complete the online application.
- Submit a letter of acknowledgment from their PI or supervising scientist stating their awareness of the once-a-week commitment to this volunteer mentoring program and their support for the Mentor’s commitment to this program. The letter should be attached in the application or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Mentorship Letter of Support”. Please contact us if you have questions regarding this requirement.
- Complete a background check adhering to local policies at no cost to the Mentors as well as health form signed by a doctor.
We will begin accepting applications for the Summer 2019 program in the Spring. If you would like to be notified when the application period opens, please sign up here.
Family Science Nights
Research shows that interactions with STEM professionals can transform kids’ views of science, and positively impact their career aspirations. But most students in the New York area rarely have the opportunity to meet and interact with real scientists. That’s why the Academy created an outreach effort called Family Science Night, which recruits Academy Members, grad students, postdocs, and STEM professionals to spend an evening working with kids on hands-on scientific projects and demonstrations. With five family science nights per year, one in each borough, we hope to make this volunteer opportunity accessible to scientists and engineers throughout the greater New York area.
Frequently Asked Questions
The program goals are to inspire curiosity and excitement about STEM topics among middle school students through hands-on STEM activities, and to connect inquisitive students with professional role models in STEM through meaningful, in-person interactions.
Qualified Family Science Night volunteers are:
- Passionate about serving their communities and inspiring the next generation of scientists and thinkers
- Located within commuting distance of the New York City metropolitan area
- Undergraduate or graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, or professionals in a STEM field
To select Family Science Night host locations, the Academy works closely with the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) to identify appropriate partnership opportunities around New York City.
Volunteers are asked to arrive 30 minutes before the start of each event to practice the activities they will replicate with students. Each Family Science Night typically lasts 90 minutes.
Volunteer recruitment for this program is conducted on a rolling basis. We are currently in the process of establishing Family Science Nights for 2019. If you’d like to be notified of volunteer opportunities for future Family Science Nights, please subscribe here by selecting the box for “Single Day & Short-Term” opportunities. For additional information regarding 2019 dates and locations, contact us at email@example.com.
If you have any questions concerning Family Science Nights, email us at ASMP@nyas.org.