Skip to main content

What We Do

Credit: iStock

NCI Education and Outreach Program (EOP) inspires passion for science and an understanding of scientific principles.  The NCI EOP provides schools in the local community the opportunity to receive support in STEM.  Within NCI, the program offers post-baccalaureate fellows, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff the ability to participate in a variety of science outreach and educational activities in the greater Washington, D.C. area.

Types of Activities

Activities range from sharing education and research experiences with middle and high school students to providing professional development workshops to teachers. We also regularly participate in events such as NIH Science Day and the Bi-annual USA Science and Engineering Festival. 

Career Day: Visit classrooms to discuss your current research experience with students of all ages.

Science Night: Provide science activities that encourage excitement for STEM for Title 1 elementary and middle schools.

Seminar Series: Discuss your research, career path, or other science related topics in a short presentation followed by a Q&A session.

Sample activity:  Lunch and Learn career series at Wheaton High School.  Once a month during lunch, NCI trainees share their career journey and passion for research with interested high school students.

Assist in the Classroom: Support students and teachers with hands-on activities in the classroom

Sample activity: (Pre-COVID) We regularly visited with the 11th grade class in the Biomedical magnet program at Wheaton High School.  We help with the preparation and distribution of reagents, assist students with the protocol, and provide insight into common uses of protocols in the laboratory setting.

Teaching Opportunities: Develop and present workshops to students about relevant topics

Sample activity:  Each year, we provide science communication workshops for the juniors and seniors at Poolesville High School.  The students are required to complete a summer research internship in STEM and write a formal report summarizing their findings in the fall upon their return.  For the juniors, we review the components of a scientific paper, using both student examples from published journals, as well as from Poolesville HS.  For the seniors, we work through an example report and provide limited one-on-one support following the workshop.

Why Volunteer?

Volunteers will develop their skills in communicating science clearly to individuals of all ages and scientific backgrounds while encouraging a passion in STEM.

Enhance your science communication skills: Opportunities range from sharing your education and research experiences with middle and high school students to providing professional development workshops to the teachers.

Gain experiential learning: Volunteers can gain valuable experience and insight into program management and science outreach careers by both organizing and participating in outreach events.

Give back to the community: Support science education for youth in the D.C. - Maryland - Virginia area. Volunteers can support an understanding of scientific principles and inspire future scientists.

Flexible time commitments: There are no specific requirements for commitment, however we do ask that you participate in at least one to two events per calendar year.  Activities occur throughout the year, with the greatest number occurring from October to May.  The time commitment can range from attendance at a one-time event for 1-2hrs, to participating in mentoring students throughout a research project throughout the school year. 

If you are interested in participating, contact us.

  • Updated:

If you would like to reproduce some or all of this content, see Reuse of NCI Information for guidance about copyright and permissions. In the case of permitted digital reproduction, please credit the National Cancer Institute as the source and link to the original NCI product using the original product's title; e.g., “What We Do was originally published by the National Cancer Institute.”