Frequently Asked Questions
Volunteer's questions answered!
How do I become a SciHigh volunteer?
Any practicing researcher is a candidate for SciHigh. Most of our volunteers are graduate students, but we also have several post-doctoral fellows, professors, technicians and even talented senior undergraduates. Training takes place mostly at the schools since we always have at least one experienced volunteer for each visit. However, there are three information sessions during the year (two in the fall and one in the winter). Attendance at (at least) one of these information sessions is highly recommended. During the session, volunteers have the opportunity to practice all of our hands-on experiments and demonstrations. Sign up to be a volunteer on the main Volunteers page.
What can I achieve through SciHigh?
Because of the relative ease of volunteering for SciHigh, the program offers an excellent return on investment. In other words, the greatest reward of being a SciHigh volunteer is how appreciative and how much enjoyment students get from our visits – and all from just sharing the knowledge you have already learned and practice everyday! In addition, you’ll get a few free meals and meet a slew of wonderful people.
What do I need to do to prepare for my visit?
Simply wait to be contacted by the senior volunteer accompanying you to the school. Once the demonstrations/experiments are chosen, you may want to read up on the protocols, available as PDF files on the SciHigh website.
Once the visit is confirmed (you will receive a confirmation email with directions and school contact information), you need to:
- Contact the school and settle on the demonstrations and transportation.
- Contact the appropriate SciHigh coordinator to let them know what demonstrations will be done and how you will get to the school.
- Refresh on the techniques, or learn ones that you are unfamiliar with. The SciHigh coordinators are always ready to show you new demonstrations.
- Contact the junior volunteers to answer any of their questions and to arrange a meeting place, giving yourselves ample time to be early for the visit (remember to consider traffic at rush hours).
What is a Senior Volunteer?
Senior volunteers are the ‘head’ volunteer for each visit. They contact both the SciHigh coordinator and school teacher, arrange transportation (taxi, rental or subway) and organize meeting times with the other volunteers so that the visit runs smoothly. Senior volunteers are always experienced in the demonstrations presented for that visit. At least one senior volunteer is assigned to each visit.
How do I become a Senior Volunteer?
Go on visits! It’s as simple as that. Once you feel confident leading a classroom through our various presentations, you will be more than qualified to be a Senior Volunteer. We’re always looking for new Senior Volunteers, and we may either approach you to become one once you’ve been on a few visits, or if you feel you’re ready, just let us know!
How many visits do I need to go on each year?
The number of visits completed by each volunteer is entirely up to them. Keep in mind, however, that SciHigh has installed incentives for volunteers to go on multiple visits, including prizes such as gift certificates or movie tickets. There is no strict minimum or maximum number of visits. Most volunteers participate in 2 or 3 visits per year.
Can I restrict my visits to certain grade levels?
As a SciHigh volunteer, you are free to go on any visit you choose. Each grade level offers a unique array of challenges and rewards, however, so it might be fun to mix it up.
Who arranges and covers transportation for visits?
SciHigh covers all costs associated with the visits, including materials and transportation. Also, if the visit is far away and/or extra long, SciHigh will cover meal costs. Arrangement of transportation is the responsibility of the Senior Volunteer.
What if I have ideas for new protocols?
We are always eager to expand the SciHigh repertoire of experiments. Please contact us or any of the coordinators with a description of the experiment/demonstration and we’ll help you develop your ideas.
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