Do you have an after-school program that includes children who would
be interested in working with an adult on science topics of their
If so, you many be interested in Science Firsthand: Partners in Discovery.
Science Firsthand: Partners in Discovery (SF) is an after-school mentoring
program for children ranging in age from 10 to 15.
SF brings together supportive adults with inner-city youth to investigate
science topics of mutual interest. Mentors work collaboratively with
one or several mentees at local community-based organizations (CBOs)
that are equipped with simple tools and materials to support exploration
and experimentation. The goal is to build enjoyment in science, to
develop skills, and to gain confidence in one’s own abilities.
Many church workers who are running after-school programs have expressed
interest in adding science experiences to the after-school academic
programming that they are offering. Because it is hands-on, experiential,
and provides engagement with the everyday world around them, science
is very popular with young people. Many church workers, however, do
not have a strong background in science so they need training and
access to science-related tools and resources. Science Firsthand has
found a way around these obstacles through training and identification
of inexpensive tools and materials for engaging in science.
If you would like to know more about the program, contact
to a short survey so that we can learn about your interests and needs,
or click on one of the following:
What is a science mentor?
Examine the Science Firsthand Implementation
Examine the Science Firsthand
Manual for College Mentors.
Voices from the Field
The mentors know the background of these kids and that they need
adult attention. The kids can’t wait until the day when their
mentor comes in and if someone is five minutes late they come into
my office and ask, ‘Where is [my mentor]?’
After-school Program Coordinator
I think it’s important that groups are small. Kids don’t
get opportunities for individual attention and we have 50+ students
in our program, so it’s hard to give them one to one. SF is
an opportunity to give them time to work with a caring, supportive
adult in a caring environment. It feels special for them, and besides
the science, they feel that they’re cool.
I do see it as sustainable. I do think it’s an excellent
program. The kids respond to it. It makes our program more effective
to the parents. Not only do we do reading and math, but also science.
So from a personal standpoint, my kid is having problems with science
at school, so I get to pick him up from school and bring him here
where he can get help with science.