Choose a role that will make the most of your talent and time
Take a look at some of the most effective programs in the US
involving scientists and engineers in K-12 science education.
Broaden your understanding through selected articles and other
recommended resources.
Tell us what you think.
Contact Information for the RISE program

ESEP: Roles of Scientists

Scientists play three quite different roles in the ESEP/Atlanta program.

1. Scientists as the Driving force. There are many important figures in this large program, but if one had to single out one person to profile, it would be Principal Investigator Robert DeHaan, the William P. Timmie Professor in Emory University Medical School's Department of Cell Biology. DeHaan wrote the original grant proposal for ESEP. He also brought his university into the program as the fiscal agent for ESEP, and created and led the Leadership Team that applied to and was accepted to attend the National Science Resources Center's Leadership Institute in 1995 .The co-PIs are Dr. Vernon Allwood, Director of the Office of Community Relations and Student Affairs of the Morehouse School of Medicine; Dr. Molly Weinburgh, an assistant professor in the College of Education, Georgia State University; and Dr. Benjamin O. Canada, Superintendent of the Atlantic Public Schools.

(The ESEP/Atlanta program is one of several in which scientists have been driving forces. Others include the CAPSI program and the SEP (future Link) program, as well as the Hands-on Activity Science Project [HASP] in Huntsville, Alabama.)

2. Scientists as Mentors. The 13 or 14 ESEP institution science faculty members who currently attend reflection sessions (and 25 others who have participated recently) are "scientist-mentors" in that they are available to the science partners outside of the reflection sessions as resources, to provide accurate scientific information and to share science materials. Mentors may also visit classrooms and work with individual teachers. Scientist mentors are not drawn only from the faculty. Post-doctoral fellows and technical associates also serve as mentors.

3. Scientists as Actors in Participatory Change: The Cultural Anthropologist. A unique feature of the ESEP program is the contribution of cultural anthropologist Kathryn Kozaitis. Dr. Kozaitis plays two distinct roles. She visits the reflection sessions of the science-education partners at least twice per term, where she leads discussions on how ethnic background and gender can affect children's learning styles and how these styles can be discovered and responded to in the classroom. She also leads a segment of every training workshop with teachers, helping them play an active role and become vested in the changes produced by the program, a process that the ESEP program characterizes as "participatory reform."


Copyright National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.