The American Chemical Society’s Education Division is expanding its Science Coaches program, under which chemistry professionals volunteer their time and expertise to support elementary, middle, and high school teachers during an academic year.
The program, which had 32 volunteer coaches at its inception as a pilot program in 2010, is aiming to grow during the 2014–15 school year to enroll 200 chemists—up from 168 in the 2013–14 academic year.
In addition to providing the general framework for the program, ACS will continue to donate $500 to each school where a coach volunteers. Grants can be used to purchase science supplies such as goggles, thermometers, or molecular modeling kits to support the coach’s volunteer efforts.
Aiming to provide support tailored to each teacher’s needs, coaches perform demonstrations, plan labs, answer tough science questions, provide career guidance to students, or propose enrichment activities, says Stephanie Prosack, a Science Coaches program associate at ACS.
Science coaches choose to volunteer at schools because they want to help students see science concepts in real-life situations and to expand students’ horizons by highlighting science careers that may have been invisible to them before, Prosack says.
Graduate students, retirees, and chemistry professionals at all stages of their careers are encouraged to apply to participate in the Science Coaches program for the 2014–15 school year. For further information and applications, which are due by Oct. 30, visit www.acs.org/sciencecoaches.