Pilot Project with Curiologie Adds Amazing New Brains to RESET
Through a one-year pilot program RESET supports volunteer post-doctorate and post-baccalaureate volunteers from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD to present hands-on science to middle school students on Saturdays at Shaw Center City Public Charter School. The program has a high volunteer to student ratio, which has more impact with this wider age range of middle school students. Curiologie provides 12 volunteers to Shaw students. The Saturday program is delivered to grades 6–8 at one time.
RESET is pleased to expand its reach to middle schools, harking back to its earlier days when sixth-grade students were in elementary schools. It is also helpful for RESET to have a Saturday option for volunteers who are unable to accommodate a weekday schedule. Curiologie benefits from associating with an established nonprofit that understands the ins and outs of working in DC-area schools. RESET provides financial support for classroom equipment and for field trips. In addition, Curiologie volunteers gain from participating in orientation and training sessions with more seasoned volunteers.
The expertise of the Curiologie/RESET volunteers is phenomenal. Most have research experience in the biomedical sciences, with particular expertise in cancer research, neuroscience, and stem cell research. All of the volunteers have lab experience and many have a personal interest in the life and environmental sciences. Subjects they cover with the children give a rich introduction to various science disciplines, including human digestion, DNA extraction, microscopy, squishy circuits, natural selection, plant dissection, and physiology, to name but a few. One of their experiments at Shaw is on brains, and provides students a window into the kinds of work underway at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
RESET’s and Curiologie’s goals are so consonant you would think the two organizations were twins. Leanora Hernandez, who manages the Curiologie program shares: “Like RESET, we want our volunteers to make science accessible and fun, and to give children opportunities to be creative. We want our students to understand that science isn’t just for ‘nerdy’ kids. And we also want to help them to consider career options in the sciences.”
See Summer 2014 Newsletter for more on this project »