Bay Area Scientists in Schools (BASIS) is a science and engineering volunteer role model program serving public elementary schools in Berkeley, Oakland, Richmond, and Pinole. We provide teachers and students the opportunity to interact with real-life scientists and engineers, while they explore hands-on science experiments and engineering challenges. We train our volunteers to communicate their research with a broader audience, sharing their love of science with the next generation!

With the support of over 500 volunteers, BASIS aims to: 

  • Connect a diverse range of scientist volunteers to elementary school students and teachers
  • Inspire students with examples of real-world science careers and issues
  • Engage students in hands-on, inquiry-based learning experiences
  • Create effective teaching links between scientists and public elementary schools

We train scientists and engineers to teach fun, hands-on lessons from our Lesson Plan Library. We help volunteers modify these lessons around their own specific STEM interests and provide our volunteers with all the materials they need to teach, training them in classroom management and science communication. Volunteers have the option of teaching in a team (we'll help you find one), or going solo. Experienced volunteers also have the opportunity to develop a new lesson of their own.

Once volunteers are trained, they select dates and times they're available to visit classrooms and make lesson presentations. CRS handles all the scheduling logistics to fit scientists' availability. Basically you tell us when volunteering is most convenient for you!

As a volunteer, you'll join our community of over 500 BASIS volunteers who have learned to effectively communicate science and engineering concepts to students. You'll get practice in explaining your research to young minds and make an important broader impact with your work!


We're excited to have you join our volunteer community!

  • Sign up online for a one-hour orientation to learn more about BASIS and our training process!
  • Check out our kid-tested Lesson Plan Library to see what kinds of lessons are available to teach!
  • Take a look at our Volunteer Tools to learn about best practices for elementary science outreach!
  • Email the BASIS Program Manager or check out our FAQ page if you have additional questions!