Skip to main content
Phase III+: The University is open for expanded research operations; only authorized personnel will be admitted on campus. More info here.

For Scientists to Engage With RockEDU

Scientists who volunteer with us develop teaching and group management skills applicable to K-12 and college level education as well as a deeper understanding of the broader impact of their work.


While in-person programming is paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please consider the following options for inspiring middle and high school students, developing teaching and mentoring skills, and connecting within our community.

Audience: High School Students (16+ yo)

Commitment Level: This is a large effort, recognized with a stipend, leadership opportunity, and online content authorship. There will be sustained weekly efforts December 2020 to October 2021, with more substantial time required during the summer program while students are present June 28 – Aug 12, 2021. See attached 2020-2021 timeline for details.

Description: RockEDU Fellows is a new application-based initiative from RockEDU that aims to build a community of quality Rockefeller scientist-mentors through a consistent series of workshops, discussions, and direct mentoring experience, all designed to guide scientists along a theory-to-practice path.

Expectations: RockEDU will provide the training, tools, and community resources for each RockEDU Fellow to: (a) develop a set of tailored mentorship skills that consider both their personal approach and best practices in cultural responsiveness; (b) develop educational structures and supports suitable for diverse, advanced high school students. SSRPv facilitators will translate an element of their research (or an area of scientific interest) into a summer research project and lead a team of high school students to conduct this work at home; (c) disseminate program & project design (via creative commons licensing) on RockEDU Online.

To Apply: Ideal RockEDU Fellows approach new things with a growth mindset, value mentorship and training our next generation of STEM-loving youth through a social justice lens, and are organized enough to manage their fellowship obligations alongside required laboratory efforts. Ideal SSRP facilitators are interested in adapting an area of their research or a scientific interest in a way that high school students can partake in from their own homes during the summer. Examples from last summer are briefly introduced here. (Jumpstart positions are full for 2020-2021). RockEDU Fellows is only available to current Rockefeller employees or students, with Lab Head/Supervisor approval. Applications for RockEDU Fellows 2020-2021 are closed.

Stay tuned for RockEDU Fellows 2021-2022 applications!

LAB Backstage

Audience: Middle and High School students

Commitment Level: This is a small effort. Most sessions will be 30 minutes to 1 hour. In addition to your time talking with your class of choice, you will receive some preparatory training in advance and will be asked to take a feedback survey afterward. Total time estimated to be 2-4 hours for your first session. You can participate one time or many, and sign-ups for teachers and the scientific community will continue on a rolling basis throughout the school year.

Description: LAB Backstage aims to give high school students and teachers a “backstage” pass to the scientific enterprise, with a focus on science as a human endeavor.

Expectations: Members of the scientific community will connect with a teacher and their class over zoom for a ~1 hour conversation about a scientific topic. Topics will be tailored to both the presenter’s interest and capacity, and could include a laboratory tour, equipment or program demonstration, or general application of a scientific technique. Presenters will be required to rehearse their general message with members of the RockEDU team in advance of their scheduled session, which will vary based on teacher requests. In return, RockEDU is expected to provide guidance and feedback for successful engagement with their eager audience.
Participation as a LAB Backstage volunteer is an excellent entry point to gaining teaching experience and improving your science communication skills.

To Sign Up: Browse our teacher sign-ups and sign up for one (or more) requests where the date, time, and topic are a good match for you.

RockEDU BIOME (view flyer)

Audience: Rockefeller scientific community + broader Tri-I community

Commitment Level: This is a small, ongoing effort. BIOME has multiple entry points that differ in commitment degree and kind. By allowing these tiers of involvement, we believe that this community can fulfill the professional and personal goals of our participants in the most authentic and sustainable way.

Description:  RockEDU: BIOME (Building Interactive Opportunities for Mentorship Education) is a virtual Slack community that is designed to facilitate connection and collaboration among members of the scientific community at Tri-I around the theme of mentorship. 

Expectations: Participants are invited to engage with the BIOME community in different ways depending on their determined goals and commitment level. While some individuals may take a more active role in shaping the future of BIOME or creating content others may prefer to absorb reading materials and attend guest lectures. In respect to commitment levels, there are no formalized expectations. However, within our slack space, we do require that individuals regularly indicate their continued interest in being a community member by filling out our quarterly survey. More information on this will be shared via Slack. Additionally, we adhere to a strict code of conduct for all participants operating within our spaces. This information, along with our welcome guide, is shared with all participants upon entry into our Slack workspace.

Join our community: In order to join our Slack workspace, fill out our brief interest form, and we’ll email you the link! We also invite individuals to subscribe to our newsletter for monthly reminders and updates.

(several RockEDU volunteer opportunities are on indefinite suspension during the COVID-19 pandemic)

Audience: Middle and High School Classes from NYC Schools

Duration: Full day (10am – 2:30pm)

Frequency: Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during school year

Commitment Level: We have several volunteer options to accommodate busy schedules. Scientists can work with us during the morning or during the afternoon, or if they can – the full day.

Description: Full-day, out of school field trips designed to engage middle and high school science students and their teachers in ongoing research in a way that is hands-on and relevant to themselves and their communities. Get to know students living in our local community. LAB Experiences are designed to engage middle and high school science students and teachers in ongoing research at The Rockefeller University. As a LAB Experience volunteer you will act as a teacher and mentor. Engage with a broader representation of our local community–the people we are doing science for.

Join Our Mailing List

To receive updates about RockEDU Science Outreach, please use the link below:

Contact Us

RockEDU Science Outreach
The Rockefeller University
1230 York Avenue, Box 53
New York, NY 10065-6399

Hatch Conversations With Us!

The Incubator is the blog run by the Rockefeller University Community focused on hatching conversations about science.

Visit us here.