Science club takes lab to the community in volunteer outreach

Eve Hermann, Contributing Writer, Chattanooga, Tenn. — The Student Volunteers for Science program which focuses on community outreach and is in need of volunteers as plans for the projects begin.

Originally started at Vanderbilt Univeristy, the program creates an opportunity for volunteers to work hands on with students in middle school science classes in Hamilton County who may not have the equipment to do a lesson.

Dr. Kristen Whitson, professor of physics, said the program needs a larger group of student volunteers to pull from to teach the activities and right now there are not many .

“What we would need are students that would learn the activity and two or three students to go out for the day and take the activity to the classroom,” Whitson said. “Nationwide there is a lack of training in science activities and science labs.

Whitson said careful planning has been done within the program to make sure challenging and vital programs are being introduced to the schools in need.

“The reason we selected the activities that we did is because typically schools do not have the funding or equipment that we have and they need to meet the state standards,” Whitson said.

Senior Walter Harrington, Springfield, Tenn., said, “We’re trying to get middle school aged students interested in science, which is a resource that is kind of dying out. We’re trying to go in and show them this hands on experiment and make them say ‘whoa, science is pretty cool.'”

Any UTC student with an interest in science can volunteer for this program. It is not necessary to be a science or science education major in order to volunteer.

There are plans to go into middle schools in the spring.

Students interested in volunteering need to contact Dr. Kristen Whitson in Grote Hall 205 or email her at kristen-whitson@utc.edu.

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