Founded and run by graduate students in Arizona State University’s School of Life Sciences, Graduate Partners in Science Education’s, or GPSE’s, mission is to train graduate students to become better scientists, more experienced educators and superior science communicators through the design of science, technology, engineering and math lesson plans and projects. At the completion of this course, students will:

  • Create a science lesson aligned with their personal scientific interests and state educational standards.
  • Modify existing science lessons for remote instruction.
  • Communicate effective feedback to peers about their science lessons.
  • Communicate science to audiences of specific ages and skill levels.

A particular emphasis of this course is on learning teaching practices that support classroom inclusion. Should students be interested in further involvement with GPSE, the spring semester involves weekly outreach to local middle schools to present the designed lessons at after-school science groups.

The teachers and students that GPSE works with are wonderful, curious and excited about exploring new science. It’s a fun environment to join and volunteers often leave feeling happier and more optimistic. I always leave volunteering feeling happier and more optimistic.

Courses available:

  • In-person BIO 533/494 K-12 STEM Education and Outreach in Fall 2022 Session C on Tuesdays, 4:30–5:45 p.m.
  • iCourse BIO533 K-12 STEM Education and Outreach, Fall 2022 Session A.

Who can join: The program is open to any graduate student at ASU as well as upper-level undergraduate students who either intend to do a 4+1 program or graduate program in the future. As the program has traditionally been run by the ASU School of Life Students, GPSE has many lessons focusing on ecology/animal behavior/evolution, but are limited in the number of lessons with themes on math, engineering, computer science, geology and astronomy. GPSE would love to have more students from other disciplines join the organization.

Time commitment: The fall one-credit course is designed primarily around the student creation of an outreach lesson plan for either your field of research or a STEM concept that you are particularly passionate about (e.g., a microbiologist may create a lesson about discovering/visualizing new microbes, but could also create a lesson about how incredible fluorescent rocks are). The lessons are designed such that each week prompts the development of one aspect of the lesson and the lesson is built over time. Course time is primarily dedicated to discussion of course-relevant topics. Overall a commitment of the course time (one hour) and perhaps 20–30 minutes outside of the course. The optional spring volunteer program involves a commitment of attending a local middle school once a week for an hour-long lesson. There might be some small preparations before the lesson plan, 30–45 minutes.

Read the syllabus (PDF).

Questions? Please contact Amanda Godar at agodar@asu.edu.