Opportunities and Resources

Get Involved

These projects in the Boston area are looking for volunteers!

Hands-On Volunteering

Science & Art

  • The MIT Council for the Arts offers grants for student art projects and encourages cross-disciplinary art.
  • Shine for Girls, founded by a recent MIT alum, is an 8-week summer program for middle-school girls that combines dancing with math.
  • The Dance Your Ph.D. contest offers prizes to the best dance interpretation of a contestant’s thesis.

Science & Sports

  • The MIT Science of Baseball, run by the Cambridge Science Festival, is a summer program for middle school students combining baseball with science and math. The program looking for volunteers, and for people to organize similar programs in other sports.

Writing & Blogging

  • AstroBites is written by grad students in astronomy and presents technical results in a way accessible to undergraduates who are considering research in astronomy.
  • Similar to Astrobites, OceanBites deals with ocean studies and ChemBites with chemistry.
  • Other Bites projects are being started; contact AstroBites for more information on how to start a Bites chapter in your own field.
  • ComMIT runs its own science blog, eMIT. Articles or short snippets are welcome from all MIT community members, including previously published blog entries. Our editorial staff are happy to work with you on submissions.
  • If you are thinking of starting your own science blog, the website ScienceBlogs provides some great models – it collects posts from many science blogs.
  • The Cambridge Science Festival runs the Curiosity Challenge, a competition among elementary schoolers to ask interesting science and engineering questions. Currently, no-one is answering these questions, but the Science Festival would welcome someone who would initiate a program of answering the questions! To volunteer, contact Sung Kim. For inspiration, also see the (now-ended) MIT program Ask an Engineer.

Science Videos

Educational Games

  • The Education Arcade at MIT develops games aimed at improved math, science, engineering, programming, and literacy skills.
    • StarLogo allows students to develop their own games.
    • TaleBlazer is a system for playing and developing location-based augmented-reality games.
    • The Radix Endeavor is a massively multiplayer online game intended to teach STEM subjects as a part of the standard curriculum.
  • The Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab develops toys and games for learning programming and other skills. Their signature creation is Scratch – a user-friendly programming language for writing games, animations, etc. The Lab also was instrumental in the creation of LEGO Mindstorms, a system of programmable LEGO blocks.

Teaching & Mentoring

Other Science Communication Societies

  • The MIT-WHOI Broader Impacts Group welcomes students in the joint program between MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.
  • ComSciCon runs workshops and coordinates science communication events in the Boston area. It is based in the Harvard Astronomy Department, but also has organizers from MIT.

Resources for Science Communication

Here are some resources for developing skills in science communication.

Degree Programs in Science Communication

Workshops in Science Communication

  • ComSciCon is a national workshop held in Cambridge, MA to develop the communication skills of graduate students.
  • In 2015, local ComSciCon workshops will be held for graduate students in the areas of Chicago, Upstate NY, and Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill. For more information on starting a ComSciCon local workshop at your home institution, contact ComSciCon.
  • The Banff Centre runs a two-week workshop for scientists and communicators, including Ph.D. students.

Webinars in Science Communication

  • The Science Network offers an online Workshop Series for communication and advocacy skills.
  • Webinars by the AAAS on various issues related to science, industry, policy, startups.

K-12 Teacher Training Programs at MIT

  • MIT offers a Teacher Certification Program for those students considering pre-college teaching.
  • Four Weeks for America is an IAP program for MIT students, a 4-week version of Teach for America, teaching in underprivileged areas.
  • TOPS is a six-week program for physics undergraduates interested in pre-college teaching. Run by the MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms, but not limited to MIT students.

General Resources