National Lab Day: Advice for Volunteers
Marti Canipe is a teacher at B'nai Shalom Day School in Greensboro, N.C., and an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow in NSF's Office of Polar Programs.
She has thought a great deal about what goes into making a classroom visit successful. She also has thought just as much about what makes one unsuccessful.
Here are her top five tips for scientists who are pondering making a trip to a local school as part of Lab Day. They were drawn from a much more detailed, narrated web presentation, "Bringing Science to School," that can be found at
Top 5 Tips for Scientists Pondering a Classroom Visit
- Communicate in advance with the teacher about your plans and the teacher's expectations.
- Plan to do something active with the class. Don't just talk about your work.
- Relate your work to something that students are familiar with from "real life."
- Share your enthusiasm for your work. Excitement is contagious.
- Ask questions that stimulate students to think. And, be sure to practice waiting (for three seconds or so) after you ask a question for them to answer.