Professional Scientist
Will you help inspire the next generation of scientists?


Will you help underserved young people, too often shut out from careers in science, to experience their potential?


Would you be willing to help create an inquiry-based science program at a community-based organization?


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.


We live in an age where knowledge of science is increasingly important for all citizens. Yet our schools have become so obsessed with the teaching of reading, writing, and mathematics that science is increasingly marginalized. This has made it imperative that more engagement with science be offered for children during the after-school hours in science museums, zoos, libraries, and other community-based organizations (CBOs). As many who work in CBOs have little knowledge of science, professional scientists can help to construct and implement engaging, inquiry-based programs.


If you are interested, contact us, respond to a short survey so that we can learn about your interests and needs, or click on one of the following links to learn more about the program.


What is a science mentor?


Examine the Science Firsthand Implementation Manual.

Voices from the Field
I gave her an idea of biofilm and why bacteria are pertinent in medical settings and we did some Internet research and tried to grow a biofilm. We used e-coli, a harmless strain, and it had a fluorescent marker so we could look under a microscope to see how it grew. She did some environmental sampling and she came up with different surfaces. She set up the actual experiment and I provided her with bacteria.
Scientist Mentor


A lot of people said he opened up after we started doing experiments. He was quiet before and kept to himself. When we started he didn’t ask questions, I had to bring it out of him. Later he was asking all the questions, and it was great to hear from staff that I brought him out of his shell.
Scientist Mentor


I think [he benefited by seeing that] there is another world out there than he was used to, of science and science experiments. He’d never done that in school… I think I broadened his perspective on the science community.
Scientist Mentor