Berkeley Lab Teaching Scholars


The Berkeley Lab Teaching Scholars program is a joint collaboration between the Postdoctoral Scholar and Early Career Enrichment Program and the K-12 STEM Education Office 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 office will have a stronger team of science and engineering enthusiasts that are capable of explaining difficult subjects to broad audiences and comfortable facilitating hands-on scientific content in various settings.

2020 Teaching Scholar Candidates

  • Srinidhi Bheesette (Detector Development)
  • Michael Gerhardt (Energy Technologies)
  • Nicole Sanderson (Computational Research)

  • Sarah Smith (EAEI/ETA)
  • AJ Whitman (MBIB/Biosciences)
  • Maria Zurek (NSD/Physical Sciences)

Content Development and Facilitation 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

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.

Hours will be logged through a google form once the initial application has been reviewed and accepted.