How to Volunteer

The first step to becoming a BASIS volunteer is to register online for a one-hour, on-campus orientation to learn more about the program (see below to sign up). 

Our volunteers are UC Berkeley students, science professionals, and individuals from our community with a passion for science outreach. If you are a science professional and would like to become involved, you can find more information here.

Getting ready to teach with BASIS is as easy as A - B - C!

A. Form or Join a Team. Most of our volunteers form teaching teams with their colleagues, lab mates, and friends - it's a great opportunity for team-building and it gives elementary students the chance to interact with a diverse group of scientists. If you need help finding a team or will be joining a pre-existing team, just let the BASIS Program Manager know!


B. Choose a Lesson. Once you form a team, choose one of the kid-tested, teacher-approved lessons from our Lesson Plan Library. Don't see one that matches your interests? Contact our BASIS Program Manager -- we have a much more extensive lesson archive, but some may need updating to meet the new science standards. We're also happy to coach BASIS teams through the process of developing a new lesson, but we encourage volunteers to spend some time in the classroom first!

C. Schedule a Training. At your training session, we'll review the lesson and discuss how to customize it to your team's research interests. We'll provide training on science communication, classroom management, and how to engage children in scientific thinking and discourse. You also have the option to shadow a lesson led by staff or BASIS volunteers to gain experience in the classroom before heading out with your own team. We'll make sure you're comfortable with the lesson and have fun in the classroom!


We handle all logistics - we contact the teachers and schedule your classroom visits based on YOUR availability. 

Your team tells us what dates and times you'd like to teach your lesson. Most teams present in 1-2 classrooms per month, but scheduling is very flexible.

We ask each team to aim for 10 classroom visits per school year, in order to reach our goal of 500+ classroom visits each year. 

Please keep in mind:

  • Schools are in session Monday-Friday from approx. 8am-3pm
  • We'll schedule your lessons at schools with your transportation abilities in mind
  • To make the most of your travel time, we can also schedule back-to-back presentations in two classrooms at the same school if you prefer.

Team Leaders will receive a confirmation email for each scheduled lesson. Make sure to contact the teacher beforehand and prepare for your lesson using our Classroom Visit Checklist to ensure your visit is as successful as possible! Then you're ready to go! Have a great time!

Ready to start volunteering with BASIS?