Lunar and Planetary Institute

Menu of Opportunities for Scientist Involvement in Teacher Preparation

Advocate for and Assist
Pre-Service Educators

Supporting education faculty in their efforts to prepare future science teachers provides the highest impact on the K-12 classroom.  Education majors who will teach science need similar opportunities to become involved in science as those students who will be our future scientists.  Supporting education students and their education and science faculty advisors enables scientists to become more aware of these future teachers’ needs and more informed about the challenges facing science teacher preparation.

Best Practices for Success

  1. Read the "Before You Begin" information.
  2. Ask for input from (or form a partnership with) pre-service teachers or their science and education faculty advisors, to have a better understanding of their needs.
  3. Consider whether you would like to find a way to support pre-service teachers in general or if there is a particular region or institution that you would prefer to work with.
  4. Consider those students and faculty at smaller, rural, minority-serving, and community colleges, who are more likely to be underfunded and have access to fewer resources.

Paths of Involvement

  • Encourage and assist science educators to join or become involved with professional science education organizations such as The Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE), their state science teacher organization, the National Science Teacher Association (NSTA), and the NASA Pre-Service Institutes.
  • Help provide access to science lab equipment for science educators and their classes.
  • Support a teachers professional conference
      • Host at your institution
      • Find other scientists to help
      • Help fund a conference
  • Sponsor a NSTA Pre-Service Club
  • Support faculty and future teacher involvement in amateur and professional science organizations, such as various citizen science groups, amateur astronomy groups, etc.  Future teachers could do research, write articles, and attend conferences.
  • Consider hiring future teachers when you are hiring undergraduate assistants.
  • Mentor a Future Teacher
  •  Support science education students’ memberships in science organizations.
  • Invite a future teacher into your lab...educator as scientist
  • Offer volunteer experience for future teachers in your lab — by .enriching their understanding of what a scientist does, you are providing these students with insight into the processes of science that they can in turn share with their future students.

Program Models


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