Lunar and Planetary Institute

Menu of Opportunities for Scientist Involvement in Teacher Preparation

Provide Your Science Expertise by Sharing Content


Scientists have a deep understanding of the current best theories and models—for a wide variety of topics spanning the Universe.  Teachers, future teachers, education faculty, and even other scientists often do not have the opportunity or ability to read the latest research on the subjects for which their students will have questions.  By sharing your content knowledge, you are providing them with insight into the current state of science and with a contact—a name and a face of a scientist that they can question.

Best Practices for Success

    1. Read the "Before You Begin" information.
    2. Review the content standards in your area/state (an educator can help with this)—when possible, tie your topic to the content standards.  (For instance, in a talk on current findings of satellites examining the Sun, you may want to include basic information on the properties of the Sun and its role and effects on our environment on Earth.) 
    3. Prepare to change your presentations as your audience’s needs and the science education standards change—the same talk on stellar evolution may not be equally appropriate for future elementary teachers and future physics teachers.
    4. Content presentations should be focused with clear purpose.
    5. The latest findings and information on your content will be valuable, but need to reflect the current scientific concensus or acknowledge the differences of opinions that may exist among scientist in that field.
    6. Document your presentations for future users—consider posting your powerpoint to a Web site, videotaping your presentation, etc.

Paths of Involvement

    • Provide “Ask the scientist” support
    • Offer consultation services to faculty, particularly faculty at two-year colleges
    • Participate in a science lecture series for local faculty and ensure that education faculty are welcome
    • Create podcasts or videos for classes or the public
    • Participate in a virtual lecture series
    • Speak in an education methods class
    • Create a speakers bureau
    • Participate in a speakers bureau
    • Provide online courses for teacher educators
    • Give a conference presentation: these could be science conferences, but also science education conferences

Models of Existing and Past Programs in which Scientists have Shared Content


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