All of us on the organizing team give thanks often to the scientists who donate their time and energy to Letters to a Pre-Scientist. We remind our pen pals that they are making a difference in a young person’s life. However, it seems like that the message gets across more clearly when it comes from the young people themselves.
We did a survey at the end of the year to ask the pre-scientists about their experience, and here are some of their responses:
I learned that it takes a lot of people to build a bridge.
I learned about nuclear decays and such.
My pen pal showed me fishes that I had never seen in my life.
I learned about how to make quicksand from my pen pal and other science experiments to do at home or at school.
One new thing I learned about science from my pen pal was why the sky is blue.
I learned about Michigan and that it snows a lot out there.
I liked having a pen pal mostly because it was fun to talk about our interests.
I like getting to know someone different from what I’m used to. Also the encouragement she gave me.
You can learn things from people you do not know.
As you can see, the pre-scientists enjoy learning about their pen pals’ work, as well as their lives outside of work. They love having the opportunity to meet someone from a different place and talk about their own lives.
Of course, we couldn’t leave our scientists out of the survey fun, so we also asked them about their experience. They gave us some great feedback on how we can keep improving the program, and they told us how much fun they had participating.
I really enjoyed the opportunity to interact with a young kid and share with them my love of science.
I loved hearing from young students in an area away from my own and getting letters in the mail! It was so fun!
It was so exciting to meet a young mind who was eager to go into a STEM field.
We continue to be endlessly grateful for all of the volunteer scientists and the amount of thought and care they put into each letter that they write. If you haven’t already joined our mailing list, sign up here to get notified when we are recruiting more pen pals. If you have a friend or colleague who might be interested, send them our way. Recruitment for 2015-2016 will start very soon!