How do I get started as a school volunteer?
You can talk with program coordinator, Rick Diamond, or any of the ETA staff who have already participated in the Future Scientist program.
When you are ready to plan a classroom visit, call the Community Resources for Science (CRS) and ask about school and grade availability for your topic. CRS staff will place you with a K-6 grade teacher in the East Bay. CRS can also provide excellent advise on classroom guidance and materials, and handle all the contact logistics. All you do is give them a call.
Community Resources for Science
1375 Ada Street
Berkeley, CA 94702
How much time does it take to volunteer?
A class visit can last from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on your stamina and the teacher's schedule. We have already prepared and tested one lesson guide on Heat and Light that you can use or modify. We have two tool bags for use in classroom visits. These tool bags contain digital air temperature thermometers, infrared non-contact surface thermometers a.k.a. "ray guns" which are great for measuring the temperatures of classroom objects, as well as hands, feet, hair, etc., plus light meters, light bulb comparators, and more. If you want to develop your own topics, CRS has resources and staff to help you take your ideas and develop them into grade-specific presentations.
How often do I go to a classroom?
You can go as frequently as you like—one visit per year or one per month. Once you have a lesson plan prepared it is not much additional time to go to new classes and schools.
I haven't done this before—can I go and watch someone else first?
We have found that going to the schools in teams of two is a great way to initiate new volunteers. Staff can continue to work in pairs or participate individually.
Do I need to be an expert to talk to the students?
An expert in enthusiasm—yes. A PhD in Energy—no. The kids will certainly ask more questions than you can answer. When this happens you can a) defer to their teacher b) say that you don't know the answer, or c) do what I do—make something up.
What topics are the students interested in?
Basically everything. You can talk about energy, appliances, climate, weather, electricity, cars, motors, lights, air quality, global warming, dinosaurs—they will be interested in any topic for which you show enthusiasm.
Who can I ask for more information?
Rick Diamond coordinates the Future Scientist activity. He can answer your questions and put you in touch with other Area staff who are participating in the program. Contact him at