How to Volunteer

How to Sign Up to Volunteer
We are using VolunteerSpot to organize our upcoming visits to Innis Elementary.

Signing up to volunteer in 3 easy steps:
1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on SignUp
2. Enter your email address. (You will NOT need to register an account on VolunteerSpot)
3. Sign up! Choose your spots – VolunteerSpot will send you an automated confirmation and reminders.

If you are unable to attend the visit that you are signed up for, please let us know by emailing us at

Before the Visit
Volunteers are encouraged to read the lesson plan and watch videos sent out prior to the visits. The purpose of these materials is to help volunteers familiarize themselves with the lesson plans.

Before Leaving
An email will be sent out the week prior to the visit where volunteers can sign up to drive or carpool. Be sure to bring a government ID to the school visits to sign-in.

Please arrive at the Elementary 30 minutes early (by 1:15 PM for Parkmoor visits) to allow time for set up.
Address for Parkmoor Elementary: 1711 Penworth Dr, Columbus, OH 43229
Address for Mansion Day School: 72 Woodland Ave Columbus, OH 43203

Note: You will receive a reminder email from a coordinator about a week before the visit that will include the lesson plans, and the carpool sign-up sheet so that you as a group can organize the carpool details.

At the beginning of the lesson please introduce yourself as a scientist. Let the students know what you are studying and what your research is (if you do research) in a way that elementary students will understand. (You should spend some time in advance to think about how you will explain your field at an elementary school level.)

The Lesson
Scientific Thinkers teaches hands-on activity based lessons. This means that we want the students to be engaged in their activities and making observations about what they see. The volunteers set up the materials, provide instructions on what to do, and answer questions. If the students are having trouble understanding the purpose of what’s going on please help guide them with information on what they are seeing and doing by asking a relevant series of questions.

Above all, we want the students to think that science is FUN! Getting elementary students excited about science now will hopefully inspire a new generation of scientists later.

End of Lesson Summary
At the end of the lesson, around 2:30 PM, one volunteer takes the lead on summarizing what was learned. If the students were split into groups bring everyone back together, ask the students what they learned and if they have any questions. The volunteer may need to lead students in the direction of the primary purpose of the lesson by explaining what happened and why.

Please return the materials to Michelle’s office after the lesson with a completed sign-in sheet.