Are you interested in developing an after-school science-mentoring
program for urban youth?
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.
Because of the difficulty of attracting underserved urban children
to cultural institutions, a number of museums are exploring ways to
export their educational programs to libraries, community-based organizations
(CBOs), boys & girls clubs, and other outreach locations. Science
Firsthand has found CBOs receptive to the idea of developing site-based
science labs and bringing in outside expertise to train their staffs
and to help them develop mentoring programs using community volunteers
or local college students.
If you are interested in knowing more about these programs, contact
us, respond 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?
What is a community-based organization?
Examine the Science Firsthand Implementation
Examine the Science Firsthand Manual for College Mentors.
Voices from the Field
Kids love it. We did a survey last year, 100% of kids enjoyed
it [even those] I never thought would be interested in science…
There’s not as much time spent on science and social studies,
it’s not a priority in Buffalo because of the emphasis on standardized
tests. This fills the void.
It’s provided the opportunity for kids who have interest in
science to work with other students with similar interests and see
science as fun, and it supports their interest in a way that isn’t
possible in a regular classroom setting. I anticipate some of these
kids will continue on in high school or college that might not have
otherwise. They can see themselves as scientists or science teachers
and couldn’t see themselves in that light just from classroom
This program gives children a chance to ask their own questions and
to find an answer.