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Opportunities for Undergraduates

BIOL499:  Experiences in Outreach

Students participating in the Directed Study in Biology Outreach Education will get a blended experience in outreach education.  One component of their experience will revolve around their participation in school visits offered through our CityLab and Watershed Access Lab programs. During this experience, students will be immersed in the laboratory, assisting educators in teaching hands-on modules to visiting elementary, middle and high school students. They will not only learn the science content but also the pedagogy for working with inquiry-based science and experimentation. A second component of the experience revolves around their individual project.  Past projects range from development of new modules, supplementing currently modules and curriculum alignment. A third component involves discussion groups and accessing resources available through our BlackBoard site. Here students discuss topics related to their experiences while participating in the lab modules or with their projects. Students are also given the opportunity to participate in other types of outreach including Open Lab Night, Traveling Field Trips, and Professional Development trainings. Each students experience is tailored to their needs and their desired goals and outcomes. At the current time, this opportunity is limited to less than ten students and by a competitive application process. Interaction with students is limited to evening online sessions and off-hour meetings when necessary.  Grading is based on performance within the laboratory setting, active participation in the discussion topics, and completion of a final project. Credits are determined by the amount of time available and the scope of the final project. The course is offered with a pass/fail grading system and can fulfill one 3-credit Biology Elective. Credits can be accrued over multiple semesters. If interested, please contact Dr. Jenna Mendell (

Scheduling an Observation

Currently, we are working with the Education Department to begin offering class observation experiences in CityLab. Please contact Maura Whittemore ( for more information.