SciMatch for Middle Schools

We are excited for another year of our popular SciMatch program, where we connect amazing scientists with middle school teachers to help inspire the next generation!
 
What is SciMatch?
The SciMatch program accepts applications from middle school teachers in North Carolina who would like to have a scientist visit with their class. NCSciFest staff then works to find STEM professionals who are passionate about outreach to pair up with teachers. These scientists receive specialized communication training prior to the visit.

This year, scientists will visit classes in April, where they'll speak with students about their backgrounds and research, and answer questions about their careers. Similar to last year, we will be maintaining the hybrid model of in-person and virtual visits. The goal of each visit is to inspire students to consider science as a career and to understand how science impacts our lives.

2024 Timeline (All deadlines 11:59 p.m. Eastern)

  • October 2: Applications open
  • November 30: Deadline to apply
  • December: Applications are reviewed and teacher/scientists are selected.
  • Early January: Scientist and teacher orientation webinars.
  • Late January: Pairings are made. Teachers and scientists are notified of their match and begin communicating
  • February and March: professional development webinars for teachers and scientists.
  • April: Classroom visits take place
  • Post-visit survey completed within 1 week of visit

General Program Guidelines 
For Scientists

  • Take time for pre-visit planning with your teacher. 
  • Engage with each of the educator's classes throughout the day (typically 3 or 4).
  • Prepare interactive or hands-on activities that relate to your work.
  • Encourage students to consider STEM careers.

For Educators

  • Take time for pre-visit planning with your STEM professional 
  • Include any necessary details about your classroom and/or virtual protocols. This information will help your scientist prepare for the visit. 
  • Support the visit: 
    • Help moderate by taking questions and addressing technical issues. 
    • Help your scientist keep the conversation within the students’ level of understanding.
    • Participate in the activity along with the class. (As students follow the lead of their teacher, it is important that you be engaged and interested in the presentation.)

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Interested in learning more about our SciMatch program? Contact ncscifestschools@unc.edu for more info!