Engage with students outside of the classroom

Letters to a PreScientist is just one of many ways that scientists can engage with students and get them excited about STEM! If you are excited about STEM outreach to K-12 students but are still looking for additional ways to participate, check out some other opportunities listed below – accessible to scientists from across the United States and around the world. This is the first in a monthly series of posts about STEM outreach resources.

On Social Media

  • SciStuChat is a monthly Twitter chat for high school students, giving them the opportunity to talk to scientists about pertinent topics related to STEM (such as cheating in the Olympics or living on the moon). The conversation takes place the 2nd Thursday of each month at 9 PM EST using #scistuchat.
  • A newbie in the Twitter chat world, SciParty kicks off on October 17th at 4 pm EST with a chat on regenerative medicine and its impact on diseases of blindness. It continues every Monday and Friday at the same time using hashtag #SciParty. This discussion will bring together scientists, science communicators, and interested members of the public.


  • Inventing Heron is an online resource for high school students to learn about a variety of careers, originally created to empower students in STEM. You can become a mentor on the site by signing up and posting a career profile; you also have the option to leave your contact information so interested students can reach out for more information. They are offering a $20 gift card to Amazon for the first 200 thoughtfully written profiles. Sign up today!
  • Flame Challenge is a yearly event that challenges scientists to give the best answer to a scientific question posed by 11-year-olds. The Alda-Kavli Learning Center for Science Communication asks students to submit their questions; once the center chooses one to be the question for the year, scientists can submit their answers, and the best- as judged by 11-year-olds- wins $1000 and additional prizes. The next contest runs from 10/24/16 (when this year’s question is released) to 2/3/17.

In Person

  • Participate in community outreach via a science center that is part of Portal to the Public. These science museums from across the United States have made a commitment to identifying scientists to engage with the public through a variety of unique programs. See if a science center near you is a member of the consortium!

Here at LPS, we’re excited to keep students excited about STEM both in and out of the classroom. We’re in the process of developing a Resources section for the website to help scientists and teachers share their favorite science outreach resources with each other. If we’re missing yours on this list, please let us know in the comments so we can include it on the site at a later date!


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