BEcome a STEM partner
You don’t have to be a scientist to become a STEM Partner – the most important characteristics of a successful STEM Partner are:
- a willingness to give back to the community through volunteer opportunities
- a desire to increase access to STEM education for students in grades K-8,
- and an interest in STEM and inquiry based learning
Think this sounds right for you? Sign up for the next available training below!
Ready to sign up for an opportunity?
During training you'll receive instructions on how to access open STEM Partners volunteer opportunities. Need a refresher? Email us at STEMPartners@TechPointYouth.Org!
STEM partner FAQS
DO I HAVE TO BE A SCIENTIST TO PARTICIPATE?
No. Anyone with experience in science, technology, engineering, or math is welcome to participate in the program to enhance and advance STEM education. STEM Partners assist the teacher as an “extra pair of hands,” as well as encourage and help students with hands - on STEM instruction. During the volunteer sign - up process, you will be able to choose a grade and curriculum that best matches your skill set.
MY WORK SCHEDULE VARIES; CAN I STILL VOLUNTEER?
Yes, each teacher and STEM Partner pair will decide on a day and time of the week in which you will join the class for a STEM lesson. The teachers usually have some flexibility in their school day and will work with you to find a da y or time that works for you. Some weeks they can even change the day or time if necessary. If your schedule does not allow for one hour each week, consider the possibility of volunteering 2 hours every other week in the classroom.
I DON’T HAVE TEACHING EXPERIENCE; WILL I RECEIVE TRAINING ?
Absolutely. STEM Partners will be required to attend a three hour training course prior to the first classroom visit. The training will introduce you to the principles of inquiry learning, notebooking in an inquiry classroom, developmental learning stages of children, and issues in the modern classroom. Lesson plans and curriculum examples will be provided as part of the training.
WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT?
The STEM Partner commits to attending one three-hour training and volunteering ~4 hours/month in the classroom from September through May.
DO I NEED TO PASS A BACKGROUND CHECK TO VOLUNTEER IN THE CLASSROOM?
Every school district has different requirements. Ask the teacher you are volunteering with about the requirements for their school. He or she can provide you with the necessary forms.
WILL I HAVE ANY TEACHING RESPONSIBILITIES?
No. The teacher will teach the lesson. Your responsibilities include:
- Assure students understand the lesson
- Ask students probing questions to encourage deeper understanding of their experiments or problems
- Reinforce the importance of good documentation
- Monitor their work to reinforce good efforts and help guide where there are struggles
- Make connections between the work they are doing and real - life applications in STEM professions
- Share interesting stories, experiences, and your path to becoming a STEM professional
- Be a role model by showing that anyone can pursue a STEM career, if they think critically and work hard
- Have fun and enjoy learning with and from the students!