Volunteers Needed for UO Science Fair Workshops 2017
In order to support children in sucessfully completing a science fair project, the SPICE program provides workshops on science fair project development to local K-8 classrooms. Workshops are lead by volunteer instructors recruited from UO students and staff. Sign up form below.
If you enjoy any of the following you should sign up to be a volunteer instructor!
- Kids & Science
- Sharing Science
- Doing fun Science activities
Commitment & Duties
Volunteering as an instructor involves agreeing to complete all required training (see below) and visiting at least one classroom 4 times between January-March, 2017. Workshops last between 1- 1 1/2 hours. With training, partner meetings and travel time you can expect to spend 3-4 hours per week for a period of 4-6 weeks. Volunteers are welcome to sign up to visit more classrooms. Expect each additional class you sign up for to take an additonal 2 hours for 4 weeks.
- Instructors visit local classrooms once a week for four weeks with a partner to present a hands on workshops. Each workshop covers a basic element of project development and includes a hands on activity that demonstrates a core element of the scientific process. Workshop topics are listed below
- Workshop 1 - Scientific Method - Mystery Box Activity
- Workshop 2 - Research Questions - Paper Airplane Activity
- Workshop 3 - Data Collection and Analysis - (new activity in development)
- Workshop 4 - Presenting Research Data - (new activity in development)
Jan 2 - 20th - Instructor training (mostly online)
Jan 23 - Feb 17 - Workshops (wave 1)
Feb 20 - March 17th - Workshops (wave 2)
March 20-24 & April 3-14th - Extra classroom mentoring (optional)
April 22nd - UO Science and Invention Fair
Instructor training includes an introduction to the fundamentals of informal science outreach, overview of science fair project instruction, learning theory, and workshop specific instruction. The bulk of training will be in the form of online videos and quizzes. Each volunteer instructor must meet with the program directors for an intake meeting (15-20 minutes) and at a group training session (1 hour).
Partners, Transport, and Logistics
Instructors work in teams with a partner. It's important to meet with your partner before the workshops to start to decide on roles and compare your teaching styles. We will do our best to make sure one partner has access to a vehicle for transportation. If not, we will arrange a vehicle to borrow. Instructors who will be driving will need to be driver certified for the university and file a travel plan. SPICE staff will assist with all paperwork.
Workshop logistics usually go something like this:
- Complete all training
- Exchange emails with assigned classroom teacher. Make sure you know details about the class (age, number of students, if projects are required)
- Week before first workshop, meet with partner to go over details and roles
- Day of workshop, stop by SPICE offices to pick up supplies 1 hour+ before workshop, check supplies before departing
- Travel to school and present workshop
- Return supplies
- Repeat next week
SPICE staff will provide all necessary supplies, equipment, and instructions.
Occasionally, a classroom teacher will want to lead their own workshops and is looking for volunteers to help mentor small groups of students with projects. If you are interested in mentoring please indicate that on your volunteer application.
Use the form below to apply to be a volunteer instructor. After you complete the form you will be provided with a link to poll to indicate your availability for workshops.