Happy National Volunteer Week! April 21st-27th is National Volunteer Week and we are highlighting a few of our exceptional volunteers during the week! Science Club for Girls is lucky to have so many amazing volunteers that inspire our youth each and every day and we wanted to share their stories through our Volunteer Spotlight!
Our first 2013 Volunteer Spotlight is for our Mentor-Scientist Clara Levy. Clara is a 1st year PhD student in Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. She has been volunteering with SCFG since the fall of 2012 as the mentor-scientist for our 2nd graders at King Open. We were able to interview Clara this past month to learn more about her volunteer experience:
Question 1: How did you learn about Science Club For Girls and what prompted you to get involved?
I love working with kids, and I was looking for a way to get involved with science oriented outreach, so one of my professors recommended that I check out SCFG.
Question 2: What keep you coming back to volunteer each semester?
At the end of last semester I felt like I’d established positive relationships with the girls in my club. I was seeing them make connections between experiments from different weeks. I’ve really enjoyed getting to introduce them to scientific concepts, and watching them grow. I’m hoping to keep working with the same girls next year!
Question 3: What do you enjoy most about your volunteer experience?
A few weeks ago I was explaining that “science” isn’t just a profession on its own – that there are all different types of scientists. One girl told me that she decided she wants to be a chemist when she grows up. That same girl has told me that she wishes she could fast forward through the rest of the week to get to Tuesday again so that she could get back to Science Club. It’s really rewarding seeing the girls get excited about science activities, and even spark an interest for careers in the field.
Question 4: What have you learned or how have you been personally affected from your experience with Science Club For Girls?
It’s been really great for me to get out of the grad school bubble, and have an opportunity to work with younger girls. In grad school scientific conversations are all really technical, and everyone assumes that we all have a certain level of background knowledge. Working with the 2nd graders has been really useful for me for stepping back and focusing on how to break down concepts into more simple explanations.
Question 5: Do you have an inspirational story you can briefly tell about your volunteer experience?
At the beginning of the fall semester one of the girls made it clear that she didn’t want to participate in clubs, and she was only there because her mom signed her up. At the beginning she mainly kept to herself or worked with a Junior Mentor. However, by the end of the semester she’d made a friend in the club and by ScienceFest she had opened up and was teaching activities to the other clubs that came by our booth. It was really awesome to see that she’d actually learned something, and had become comfortable in the club.
Question 6: Do you have any advice for individuals considering volunteering with Science Club For Girls?
Definitely do it – it’s been awesome for me to get out of the grad school bubble, and have an opportunity to work with younger girls.
Learn more about the Science Club for Girls Volunteers this week through our Volunteer Spotlight.
Interested in learning more about Science Club for Girls and want to connect? Email firstname.lastname@example.org