What We Do

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NCI Scientists in the Community gives postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, post-baccalaureate fellows, and other NCI trainees the chance to participate in a variety of science outreach and teaching activities in the greater Washington, D.C. area.

Schools benefit from having researchers who are participating in cutting edge research assist in their classrooms. Our program inspires passion for science and an understanding of scientific principles.

Types of Activities

Activities range from sharing education and research experiences with middle and high school students to providing professional development workshops to teachers.

Seminar Series: Discuss your research, career path, or other science related topics in a question and answer session with high school students

Sample activiy:  One of our volunteers developed a two-part seminar series “Interpreting Science in the News” for the Think Like a Scientist workshop hosted by Wheaton High School.   During this workshop, we taught the students how press releases/articles are generated and how to target selected audiences.  In the second half, students were responsible for generating their own press release and present it via their chosen vehicle.

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

Sample activity: We regularly visit 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:  We developed a two-day science communication workshop for the rising seniors at Poolesville High School.  The students are required to compete a summer research internship in STEM and write a formal report summarizing their findings in the fall upon their return.  On the first day, we reviewed the components of a scientific paper, using both student examples from published journals, as well as from Poolesville HS.  On the second day, we worked through additional examples and had the students edit the examples themselves.

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

Science Night: Present a science activity to encourage excitement for STEM.

Why Volunteer?

Volunteers will develop their skills in communicating science clearly to individuals of all ages and scientific backgrounds while giving back to the community.

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

Give back to the community: Support science education for youth in the D.C. - Maryland - Virginia area. Volunteers can help inspire passion for careers in science, as well as an understanding of scientific principles, which are valuable in many aspects day to day life.

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

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.

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