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Letters to a Pre-Scientist

Using "snail mail" to inspire young scientists, Letters to a Pre-Scientist is a pen pal program ensuring all students can visualize themselves in a STEM career. The program seeks to"demystify STEM career pathways," by "pair[ing] fifth to tenth grade student 'pre-scientists' in US low-income communities with STEM professional volunteers during science class," including mentors who "who [do] not fit their stereotypical image of what a scientist looks like or does at work." Since its launch in 2010, the program has expanded into a nonprofit organization with a presence in six states. At the link above, scientists and teachers can learn more about the program, what each of their roles would be, and apply to participate (per their Twitter account, the 2020 program will launch soon). Teachers who are not enrolled in the program can still find classroom resources on the site. For example, the Picture a Scientist initiative invites scientists to submit a picture and letter about their career, and teachers are provided a lesson plan to accompany these prompts. The website also has a Blog that highlights many scientists and their various career paths, as well as offering additional insights on the program. Letters to a Pre-Scientist was co-founded by Anna Goldstein and Macon Lowman (both of whom are passionate about science and community) and receives financial support from individuals, in-kind donations, and institutions. More information about the staff, board members, and sponsors is available under the About drop-down menu.
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Date of Scout Publication
2020-07-31
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