Skip to Content

Orientation for Volunteers

  • define the roles and expectations of each member of the team: teachers and fellows
  • identify characteristics of middle school students
  • describe the nature of hands-on and inquiry-based instruction
  • become familiar with to VSVS (Vanderbilt Student Volunteers for Science) kits
  • become familiar with STC kits (MNPS Hands-on Science Program)
  • review MNPS Science Curriculum Academic Standards
  • plan to observe a lesson conducted by a scientist and teacher in the SCP

First Day Procedures

As the Volunteer Science Teaching Fellows (VSTF) preparing for the first day in the classroom there are several important things to know:

  • First, report to the office upon arrival at school and sign in. If you have a university badge, it would be helpful if you wear it in the school building. If you have not met the principal, please make a point of introducing yourself early in the day during your first day in the school.
  • But, be sure you are never alone in a room with a child or children. There should always be another certificated adult (teacher) around. This is for your own safety since you are not an MNPS employee.
  • If you are unable to teach on your appointed day, please let the teacher know. Exchange work and cell or home telephone numbers the first time you meet.
  • Share your research. Expect to make a 10 – 20 minute presentation to students the first or second time you visit. Bring along models, samples, or other items that can be safely taken from the lab and brought into the school. When in doubt, ask. Continue to share your research with students from time to time. It is advisable to make the presentation on a much lower level than you would expect.
  • Ask the teacher for a copy of classroom and lab rules.


Special Partner

Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach
Phone: (615) 322-7140
Fax: (615) 322-7169
Mailing Address: PMB 407831, 1400 18th Ave S, 1st Floor, Nashville, TN 37240-7831
Office Location: 1401 17th Ave S, 1st Floor, Nashville, TN 37240-7831