K-12 outreach resources for the UC community
Welcome to Berkeley Engineering’s resources page for staff, faculty and students engaged in K-12 outreach.
We appreciate the many dedicated students, staff and faculty members who are working to inspire the next generation of engineers! This page presents volunteer and partnership opportunities, links to campus policies, and tips for writing broader impact proposals and engaging kids in STEM.
We hope these resources will assist you in your outreach activities. Do you have questions or needs that are not currently covered on this page? Please contact Lizzie Hager-Barnard, Director of K-12 Outreach.
We are excited to help connect Berkeley Engineering’s enthusiastic students, staff and faculty with K-12 outreach opportunities. One easy way to learn about volunteer opportunities is to join our volunteer mailing list. Members of our mailing list will be periodically notified about opportunities to support K-12 STEM activities run by UC Berkeley or community organizations. We have also provided information below about how you can seek out volunteer opportunities.
Join our volunteer mailing list!
Are you a UC Berkeley student, staff or faculty member interested in learning about opportunities to support K-12 outreach programs? Join our mailing list below.
Finding volunteer opportunities
Many of Berkeley Engineering’s K-12 outreach programs rely on the participation of enthusiastic volunteers. Our local K-12 schools and community organizations also depend on volunteers for many of their STEM programs. Berkeley’s Girls in Engineering program and Community Resources for Science are two great examples of programs that are always interested in recruiting volunteers. Looking for other ideas? We encourage you to explore Berkeley’s STAR database, a fantastic resource managed by the Cal NERDS team.
Berkeley’s Girls in Engineering program
Berkeley’s Girls in Engineering program is aimed at increasing diversity in engineering. The program runs a summer camp with four week-long sessions, designed and taught by UC Berkeley faculty, staff, and students, and annually serves 120 Bay Area middle school students.
Community Resources for Science
CRS is an excellent way for students, especially lab groups, to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers! CRS provides comprehensive training, coaching, and support so busy STEM researchers can feel confident as they lead exciting outreach activities.
Campus policies and resources for K-12 outreach
All Berkeley programs for minors must adhere to UC Berkeley’s Activities Involving Minors policy. Berkeley’s Best Practices for Activities Involving Minors should also be followed. (Berkeley’s Risk Services office also provides guidelines for virtual programs for minors.)
Depending on the specific outreach activities, additional policies may apply. For example, minors volunteering or otherwise present in campus laboratories are subject to the UC-wide Policy on Minors in Laboratories and Shops and the campus Policy on Access to Laboratories Containing Hazards.
To stay informed about campus’ minors policies, we suggest that you sign up for Berkeley’s mailing list for Camps and Youth Programs, managed by the Office of Risk Services. To subscribe, email Janice Hing.
If you have any questions about these policies, please contact the Office of Risk Services at 510-642-5141 or email@example.com.
Partnerships for broader impact proposals
Partnering with campus or community organizations is an excellent way to support our community and fulfill broader impact obligations. These partnerships can be a very effective means of leveraging limited resources, as creating new programs for minors can be very time- and cost-intensive. Many Berkeley Engineering-affiliated programs, such as Girls in Engineering, also depend on support from the UC Berkeley community. If you’d like to learn about opportunities to partner with Berkeley Engineering’s K-12 programs, contact Lizzie Hager-Barnard, Director of K-12 Outreach.
UC Berkeley’s STAR database is an excellent way to learn about potential partners across campus. We have also highlighted several partnership opportunities below.
Community Resources for Science
For more than two decades, Community Resources for Science (CRS) has been working to strengthen science teaching and learning for elementary and middle school children, particularly in schools serving underrepresented minority and low-income communities. The mission of CRS is to empower teachers and STEM professionals serving schools in historically marginalized communities to activate TK-8 students’ curiosity about the world, foster critical thinking, and inspire children to imagine future career pathways.
CRS programs and services have evolved over the years in response to teachers’ changing needs and through the guidance of ongoing evaluation and research projects. CRS’s annual reports and evaluation assessments can be accessed here. CRS provides a number of excellent partnership opportunities for Berkeley groups, including their Bay Area Scientists Inspiring Students (BASIS) and Be a Scientist programs. Visit this page for additional outreach opportunities. CRS even provides a helpful page for researchers developing broader impact plans!
Contact Teresa Barnett to learn more about CRS or explore partnership opportunities.
CalTeach’s Summer Research Institute (SRI)
The CalTeach Summer Research Institute (SRI) is an NSF-Funded eight-week program designed to encourage STEM undergraduates from across the UC system to learn about the implementation of research practices in education. SRI provides a stipend for participants to conduct intensive research on campus or nearby labs while also taking a seminar series that focuses on methods to bring research and data science skills into K-12 classrooms. Apart from the seminar, students participate in weekly research and curriculum development sessions to further strategize the tools needed to improve data literacy in K-12 education. At the conclusion of the summer term, students are eligible to continue participating in professional development workshops and curriculum implementation in K-12 classrooms with additional funding from SRI.
Faculty can partner with SRI by hosting participants in their labs during the summer. Faculty can also apply for small supplemental NSF grants to support SRI participants’ stipends and enable SRI to support more students. Faculty who have requested such supplemental grants have had a high success rate. A supplemental grant template is available upon request.
Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science is the country’s only science center that is part of a top-tier, public research university. This distinctive affiliation allows the Hall to partner with world-class scientists, engineers, educational leaders, and teachers, with the goal of developing and disseminating the most innovative and effective science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs available today. Their mission is to inspire and foster science learning for all—especially for those with limited access to science. The Lawrence also has a long history of partnering on broader impact projects.
The Lawrence helps scientists to improve their own communication skills, and to develop museum exhibits, websites, curriculum units and outreach programs that put students, teachers, and the public into direct contact with cutting edge discoveries. The Lawrence works with leaders in the field, researchers, and students who are passionate about doing science but need support to communicate about the importance of their work to all of our daily lives. Visit this page to see examples of The Lawrence’s broader impact activities.
Contact Dione Rossiter to learn more about The Lawrence or explore partnership opportunities.
Introductions to potential partners
Berkeley Engineering’s K-12 outreach team is also available to help faculty, staff, and student organizations brainstorm potential partners and provide introductions. Interested parties should email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our contact form.
Proposal development support
Berkeley Research Development Office (BRDO)
The Berkeley Research Development Office (BRDO) provides a range of services focused on bringing more research funding to campus while decreasing faculty burden in applying for it. These services include supporting the development of broader impact proposals. Consult the following pages for BRDO’s recommendations and suggested resources:
- A summary of BRDO’s recommendations for Broader Impact plans
- Resources for Broader Impacts (requires CalNet authentication)
- Potential Partners (requires CalNet authentication)
- Evaluation Resources (requires CalNet authentication)
Kate Spohr, BRDO’s Research Outreach Specialist, and Victoria Steffes, BRDO’s Research Development Specialist, are excellent resources for broader impact proposals. Learn about the entire BRDO team here.
Coalition for Education and Outreach (CEO)
UC Berkeley’s Coalition for Education and Outreach (CEO) is a community of practice for educators, researchers, and public outreach practitioners engaged in STEM education and outreach. While UC Berkeley manages the CEO listserv, the listserv includes many community organizations, making it an excellent resource for marketing K-12 outreach programs or posting job openings for youth programs.
The CEO group has also compiled a number of resources, such as best practices for engaging families and evaluating programs. At CEO’s request, UC Berkeley librarians Michael Sholinbeck and Margaret Phillips also created a fantastic “digital library” of resources for STEM education and outreach. This extensive library covers a wide range of topics, including a very helpful “Know Your Community” section that provides resources for researching the demographics of local communities and schools/school districts. We highly recommend these resources, especially the California Department of education data, for faculty who are identifying potential school partners.
Introducing K-12 students to engineering
Looking for hands-on activities, presentations, or ideas for how to talk to kids about engineering? We suggest the following resources
Berkeley Engineering’s K-12 outreach team has also developed a slide deck for introducing K-12 students to engineering that Berkeley community members can draw from. This presentation can be downloaded through this link. (Link requires CalNet Authorization)
Looking for research on best practices or other hands-on activities ideas? Contact Lizzie Hager-Barnard, Director of K-12 Outreach.
Ideas or suggestions? Please contact us
Do you have questions or needs that are not currently covered on this page? Please contact Lizzie Hager-Barnard, Director of K-12 Outreach.