Berkeley Lab Teaching Scholars

Learn more about becoming a Teaching Scholar at the upcoming info session:

November 8 at 11am PT

For upcoming volunteer opportunities from Berkeley Lab's K-12 Team, head to the main Volunteering Page


The Berkeley Lab Teaching Scholars program is a joint collaboration between the Career Pathways Office and the K-12 STEM Education programs at Berkeley Lab. The program seeks to help Berkeley Lab staff strengthen their science communication skills, gain experiences in formal and informal education, and provide connections to the local community.

In return, the K-12 programs will have a stronger team of STEM enthusiasts that are capable of explaining difficult subjects to broad audiences and comfortable facilitating hands-on scientific content in various settings.

Interested participants can complete an application indicating their interest in on of the three tracks and areas of interest. Once the application is completed, teaching scholars should begin volunteering in areas that best reflect their track and complete their service hour requirements. Hours will be logged via google form.

  • Facilitation (includes 100 hours of service)

  • Content and Curriculum Development (includes 100 hours of service)

  • Facilitation, Content and Curriculum Development (includes 125 hours of service)

Please complete the google form to express interest.

Info session slides

Hours will be logged through Galaxy Digital under Activities with K-12 once the initial application has been reviewed and accepted.

Focus Tracks

There are three main tracks that scholars can choose from:

  • Facilitation (includes 100 hours of service)

  • Content and Curriculum Development (includes 100 hours of service)

  • Facilitation, Content and Curriculum Development (includes 125 hours of service)

Areas of Service

These are areas that scholars can earn credit toward receiving their distinction as a Berkeley Lab teaching scholar:

Learning Content & Delivery

    • Critical components of effective teaching include strong communication skills and a command of the content being delivered. Candidates must take part in science communication training sessions which will cover module content and best practices for instruction.

    • Examples include - BLISS Kit training sessions (offered monthly), workshops on best practices and pedagogy

Facilitation of Content and Instruction

      • Teaching candidates are expected to take part in the facilitation of activities based on content developed at the Lab. Activities can range from short demonstrations during community events to more in-depth courses for high school students.

      • Examples include - Demonstrations at Salano Stroll, leading workshops (BLAZES, summer courses for high school students)

Curriculum and Content Development

    • Those interested in content and curriculum development will work with the K-12 team and visiting education practitioners to develop hands-on activities and project based modules suitable for K-12 students. Curriculum building will introduce volunteers to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), project based learning, and how to help students develop their scientific identity.

    • Examples include - Monthly meetings on content development, preparing projects for summer interns, helping teachers development hands-on content

Career Development Workshops

    • Academia-centered career development workshops will be offered by the Postdoctoral Scholar and Early Career Enrichment programs. Workshops will be offered throughout the year and focus on skills necessary for a career in Academia.

      • Example workshops include - Preparing a teaching statement, Preparing a diversity statement, How to do a Chalk Talk, Assessing Academic Readiness

Elective Courses (maximum of 15 hours for individual track and 10 for combined)

    • We know that many Lab employees take part in outreach on their own, speak at events, and participate in science competitions. We encourage program participants to document these hours and use them towards certification.

      • Examples include - SLAM participation, guest panels, community outreach unrelated to the Lab

Teaching Scholar Candidates (30+ hours)

  • Srinidhi Bheesette (Detector Development)

  • Rebecca Carney (NSD/Physical Sciences)

  • Xi Chen (MBIB/BSA)

  • Lisa Claus (Computational Research)

  • Michael Gerhardt (Energy Technologies)

  • Sara Gushgari-Doyle (EESA)

  • Bashir Mohammed (Computing Sciences)

  • Jessica Needham (EESA)

  • Mon Yee (EESA)

  • Maria Zurek (NSD/Physical Sciences)

Scholars with 100+ Hours


Congratulations to Alex Lin, Ying Wang, Bashir Mohammed, and Baishakhi Bose for reaching 100 hours of service in 2022. These postdoctoral scholars contributed heavily to EinR and BLDAP internship programs, SeA Bilingual STEM Camp, and numerous live events including professional development talks and After School Science Hour.

Alex Lin

Energy Sciences

Ying Wang


Bashir Mohammed

Computing Sciences

Baishakhi Bose



Lisa Claus, Ph.D.

Congratulations to Lisa for reaching over 100 hours of service in 2021, participating in SAGE, Experiences in Research, SLAM, and taking part in community collaborations.

Lisa Claus is a mathematician who works as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Scalable Solvers Group. Her research focuses on the development of high-performance computing software to accelerate the simulation of various applications from climate models to electromagnetism. Before joining LBNL in January 2020, Lisa completed a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in numerical mathematics at the University of Wuppertal in Germany. She is a co-chair of the Berkeley Lab Postdoc Association.

Rebecca Carney, Ph.D.

Congratulations to Rebecca for reaching 200 hours of service in 2021, participating in SAGE, Live Science, Let's Talk About STEM, and Nuclear Science Day.

Rebecca Carney is a postdoctoral scholar in the Nuclear Science Division at Berkeley Lab. She works in instrumentation and data analysis exploring the fundamental nature of the neutrino on the KATRIN and LEGEND experiments.


Maria Zurek, Ph.D.

Congratulations to Maria for reaching 200 hours of service in 2020, participating in SAGE, BLDAP, SLAM, Live Science, and numerous other community events. She is the first to complete 100+ hours of service as a Teaching Scholar.

Maria Zurek is a particle physicist who tries to understand why our Universe exists as it is. In her research, she studies the structure of matter we are all made of at the most fundamental level. After obtaining her M.Sc. degree in Poland, where she is originally from, she moved to Germany, where she received her PhD from the University of Cologne. Throughout her career, she has been performing experiments using large particle colliders. During her time at Berkeley Lab she was a supporter of the postdoc community in her role of co-chair of the Berkeley Lab Postdoc Association, and is a science communication enthusiast.

She now works at Argonne National Laboratory.