The Genetics Department is partnering with The Tech Interactive (The Tech) to offer a virtual program called Book-a-Biologist, which matches local middle and high school teachers to scientist guest speakers.
Interested in volunteering to speak with a classroom? Sign up as a new volunteer here.
Are you a teacher who is interested in being matched with a volunteer speaker? Submit your request here.
This program runs during the academic year, from mid September through mid June. Active volunteers are given access to the list of all open teacher requests. You will be able to look through them and volunteer for ones that fit your schedule or interests. Once you've selected your teacher(s), you will be introduced to them via email and be responsible for coordinating the session from there!
What are teachers expecting?
A 30-60min virtual session, tailored to the class's level and interests. Some teachers are interested in a single session, while others may want one for each of their classes. We offer two basic types of events:
A) "Meet a scientist": you would be expected to give a 5-10min introduction to yourself before opening to Q&A.
B) "Research talk": A 20min age appropriate research presentation, followed by Q&A.
Examples of real questions asked by middle school students
Low stakes speaking practice
This is a great chance to practice sharing your science with non-experts, in a friendly and welcoming environment. Additionally, most teachers are willing to provide some brief feedback to help you improve.
Resources for volunteers
Active volunteers will have access to all open teacher requests, more detailed information on how to get started and coordinate your session, information on grade-level science standards, sample slides, email templates, and more. Weekly office hours will also be provided as a space to ask any questions or get feedback.
Anyone who has a college degree and currently works on biology in some way is welcome. Whether you are a staff scientist, graduate student, postdoc, or lab manager, you would be welcome to join the volunteer list.