August 22, 2016: We have selected our classrooms for the coming school year! Thanks to everyone who applied and helped us spread the word.
Welcome, teachers! You are the backbone of this organization. Letters to a Pre-Scientist would not exist without all of your amazing work!
Are you a science teacher who wants to bring Letters to a Pre-Scientist into your classroom? We would love to hear from you! Running the pen pal program in your classroom is serious year-long commitment. Please fully read the information below before applying, and then when you’re ready, fill out the application.
Letters to a Pre-Scientist is a pen pal program that targets under-served students by connecting them to science professionals worldwide. We believe that personal communication between the students and the scientists can open up the eyes of the students to possible science careers. We also aim to engage the science community with people in under-served populations.
In our program, each student is matched up with a scientist whose field matches the student’s interests. Teachers facilitate the exchange of letters between scientists and students once per quarter, for a total of 4 per school year. The scientists write about their careers, what they were like as kids, and address any specific writing prompts provided by the teacher. The students write with questions and their own stories.
The program’s success depends on having motivated and capable teachers on our team. If a teacher is excited and presents the material in a meaningful way, then their students can gain a lot. Everyone in LPS is dedicated to helping kids learn and grow, from the small team of volunteer organizers to the long list of scientists who sign up to be pen pals every year. We want to find teachers who are enthusiastic about our mission and can contribute to our growing organization.
- Teaching at a school that has a significant percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunch. We prefer to work with grades 5-9.
- Willing to commit one full day of instruction to introducing the program to their students. This increases engagement by helping students understand the locations and careers of scientists and important details on letter writing.
- Very organized.
- Able to keep track of scientist’s addresses and which students have/have not responded each quarter.
- Eager to write 2-3 blog posts during the year to share their projects with the scientists. Check out our blog for examples!
- Excited to be creative with the pen pal program.
- We love it when our teachers do fun things with this project outside of the basics!
- Seriously considering a multi-year commitment.
- It takes time to get the program up and running in a new classroom, so we prefer to have teachers that will be available for at least 2 years.
Applications must be submitted by August 5, 2016. The first round of letters will be exchanged in September 2016.
The online application form is available here.