Become an Earth Explorers Scientist

What we look for in our Scientists and Engineers:

  • Must be good with kids: Earth Explorers students are in 7th and 8th grades. They are delightfully awkward, goofy, and energetic. They also have a middle school level of understanding of science. Science and engineering professionals working with Earth Explorers must be comfortable around pre-teens and able to explain the research they do in terms students will understand.
  • Visual lab or research area: The final product of the program is a five- to eight-minute video which necessitates a visual subject for teams to film on camera. While Earth Explorers values theoretical sciences and computer modeling, these types of research don’t always translate well on camera. Additionally, our students are at an age where they often need visual stimulants to keep them engaged and excited. The final films will be more interesting if the areas, research, and events they film are visually engaging.
  • Earth Explorers values diversity: We aim, as much as is possible, to work with scientists from diverse backgrounds not often represented in the sciences. The students we work with come from backgrounds not often represented in the sciences: girls, minorities, and poverty-level families. We strive to introduce our students to scientists that represent a breaking of the mold of science being something beyond the reach of these groups.
  • Must be available on the dates of the program: Because of logistical components of this program we are restrained to specific dates each semester.

At this time, Earth Explorers Scientists must be in the Denver-Boulder-Fort Collins area.

What do scientists get out of the experience?

  • Scientists have a direct impact on the students they work with. The number of students directly affected by their mentoring and participation may be low but the impact level is high. Earth Explorers is a structured and well-supported outreach opportunity with proven success. Scientists are able to have a direct and meaningful impact on their team of students.
  • By the end of the semester students will create a final product that can be used by the Scientist to demonstrate their outreach efforts. Additionally, the video can be used as a kid-friendly and accessible explanation of their research.
  • Earth Explorers is a FUN way to conduct required outreach. We often get feedback from our scientists that they had a blast working with the kids on their films. Many scientists enjoy acting in their films and finding creative ways to explain their field of study.

Time Requirements

 

There are four primary interactions between student teams and their Earth Explorers Scientists. It is very important for Earth Explorers Scientists to be able to participate in each of the four interactions. In some cases, it may be possible to still participate as an Earth Explorers Scientist even if you need to miss one of the sessions if a substitute (a co-researcher, lab mate or graduate student) can fill in. These substitutions will need to be discussed at the start of the semester. 

  • Meet Your Scientist: This is a simple get-to-know-you session where scientists and students get to learn about each other and the research that the scientist is doing. This is a low key meeting done via Skype or other video meeting service like Google Hangouts.
  • Interview Filming Field Trip: Scientists will give students a tour of their lab or workspace and students will be bringing cameras to film a few very simple interview questions towards the end of the visit. Students will email a few introductory questions to their scientists in advance of this visit so they are able to arrive prepared.
  • Action Filming Field Trip: The goal of this visit is for students to film all of the scenes needed to complete their films. This may mean a few additional interview questions, shots of the lab and a few shots of the scientist in action. The teaching team and students will make sure the scientists have a more detailed sense of what to expect before this visit, once teams have planned out their films.
  • The Screening: This is an evening event at the end of the semester. Students will present their scientists with a certificate of appreciation, give a short speech about their film, and then screen their film for an audience of their peers, family, teachers, and scientists.

Interested in becoming an Earth Explorers Scientist? Fill out the form through the link below, and we’ll be in touch!

Are you signed up for the 2020/2021 school year? You can fill out the Scientist Bio Form here: