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National Science Foundation
Photo of Marti Canipe

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 http://www.slideshare.net/mcanipe/bringing-science-to-school-2673812

Top 5 Tips for Scientists Pondering a Classroom Visit

Title slide from presentation titled Bringing Science to School
  1. Communicate in advance with the teacher about your plans and the teacher's expectations.

  2. Plan to do something active with the class. Don't just talk about your work.

  3. Relate your work to something that students are familiar with from "real life."

  4. Share your enthusiasm for your work. Excitement is contagious.

  5. 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.