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Bay Area Scientists in Schools (BASIS) is a science role model volunteer program for public elementary schools in the East Bay.
The goals of BASIS are to connect a diverse range of scientist volunteers to elementary and middle school students and teachers, to inspire students with examples of real-world science careers and issues, to engage students in hands-on, inquiry based learning experiences, and to create effective teaching links between scientists and public elementary schools.
CRS works with BASIS volunteers to develop hands-on activities that are age-appropriate and based in the California Science Standards. Scientists then select dates and times that they are available to visit classrooms to make lesson presentations, and teachers are invited to sign up for presentations as they become available. "Tremendous! More, please!" is the top comment CRS hears from teachers who've had a BASIS visit.
Scientists may work solo or in teams to develop a presentation to take to multiple classrooms over the course of a school year.
BASIS volunteers come from all parts of the community: businesses, universities, labs, and homes. The BASIS program has a particularly strong connection with UC Berkeley science graduate programs. Research groups and other student organizations partner with CRS to support strong science teaching in local elementary schools.
These lessons help me develop my public speaking, teaching, and planning skills, all of which are useful in my work environment."
--Science Industry Volunteer
The BASIS program has grown steadily to serve thousands of elementary students each year, and receives glowing reviews from volunteers, teachers, and elementary students alike.
Volunteers enjoy the experience of communicating science concepts to youngsters, teachers appreciate content support and new activity ideas, and students are inspired by diverse representatives of exciting science fields.