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What Volunteers Do

Volunteers assist students by:
Volunteers assist teachers by:
  • providing assistance with science experiments
  • becoming role models for students
  • encouraging students to set goals
  • presenting information pertaining to careers in science
  • providing exposure to college experiences
  • sharing their personal goals and aspirations
  • discussing the challenges/obstacle of obtaining a college education/identifying solutions
  • promoting healthy habits among students
  • creating email pen pals
  • mentoring students
  • tutoring students
  • assisting students with special projects
  • creating and sharing a video of the lab
  • creating and sharing a PowerPoint presentations to explain the research
  • assisting students in developing test-taking skills
  • encouraging the development of test-taking skills
  • promoting the importance of developing test-taking skills
  • tutoring students prior to science and math tests
  • instructing students in the use of scientific tools
  • bringing the scientific community into the classroom
  • actively participating in classroom instruction
  • providing assistance in the science lab
  • collaborating with teachers to conduct hands-on and inquiry-based science lessons
  • preparing materials for experiments
  • preparing instructional materials
  • preparing demonstrations
  • increasing scientific knowledge of current developments in science
  • providing scientific expertise
  • inviting the teacher to visit their lab

Roles and Responsibilities

  • attend orientation session
  • partners with educators
  • scientific expertise
  • science role models
  • new ideas and approaches
  • enhance creativity
  • provide real-world applications
  • facilitate hands-on experience
  • teach! Teach students general stuff. Teach teachers nerdy stuff.
  • make it clear that SCIENCE IS COOL
  • act as a mentor
  • let students know they're valuable
  • notify the teacher as far in advance as possible when unable to attend as scheduled
  • schedules change, be flexible
  • establish an open line of communication and communicate frequently.
  • insist that a faculty member be present (same room)whenever working with students
  • meet and observe the teacher in the classroom prior to actually teaching
  • be mindful of the student dress code and dress classroom-appropriate
  • sign in and out in the office
  • follow guidelines set by Vanderbilt Student Volunteers for Science (VSVS) when using their kits
  • be familiar with the MNPS Science Curriculum Academic Standards
  • discipline/classroom management
  • grade keeping
  • communication with parents, teachers, principals
  • introduction to faculty
  • materials/supplies
  • teacher duties: hall, attendance, emergency plans
  • lab rules
  • assessments
  • inform volunteers about any special needs a student(s) may have
  • establish an open line of communication and communicate frequently.
  • background knowledge students need to complete lab
  • notify the volunteer as far in advance as possible when absent
  • keep volunteers informed about up-coming labs/activities
  • send a note home to parents to inform them that their child will be frequently working scientists (J.Tuschl has template of letter)
  • provide name tags for students if they do not wear an MNPS ID (i.e. print first name on a 3" strip of masking tape using a black marker)
  • attend a teacher orientation session


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