Our Volunteers


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I am interested in science outreach because I find it immensely satisfying to see young children excited to learn new things. Through Scientific Thinkers, I have had the opportunity to demonstrate hands-on science experiments in order to convey fundamental scientific concepts to elementary school students. It is always a joy to see their faces lit up with curiosity and wonder!

-Manali Nayak, Physics Major, Class of 2023




When I came to OSU my sophomore year I needed a group to get involved with and meet people, Scientific Thinkers became that group for me. Education and specifically informal education has always been a passion and interest of mine especially in the sciences, so Scientific Thinkers visits quickly started to fill up my weekly schedule. I fell in love with teaching the students and the appreciation that the teachers showed made it worth it. Scientific Thinkers developed into a major part of my college career having served on the board and as president (2019-20) and even helped me land my first job after graduation! The number one thing I want to pass on is just how fun the program is, the kids are fun, the projects are fun, and it’s great to get to know your fellow volunteers. My new motto is: if you are a scientist, to really be able to talk about your research with any audience you have to be able to explain it to a 3rd grader first.”


-Nathan Zimovan, Zoology and Education Major, Class of 2021




As someone who is pursuing to be a teacher, Scientific Thinkers initially attracted me because I thought it would provide me with the experience of explaining concepts to students. I think that math and science are very important to a child’s education and I love being a part of teaching them these concepts. Not only do I get to explain to them this stuff, but I get to help them learn in a very hands-on and fun way. I love working with kids and seeing them get excited over cool science experiments never gets old!”

-Isabel Pena, Mathematics Major, Class of 2019


While working towards my undergraduate degree I participated in a similar program to Scientific Thinkers. I learned the importance of scientific community outreach and how important it is for scientists to engage their community and help inspire the next generations of scientists. When I came to OSU for graduate school I wanted to continue to impact my community and so Scientific Thinkers was the perfect organization for me to join. I really enjoy working with students and teaching them how the laws of physics impact them on a day-to-day basis.”

-Aidan Lee, Physics Graduate Student


“The Scientific Thinkers program has been a great way to continue giving back to the community during my time in college. So far my favorite experience with the program was when we extracted DNA from strawberries with the 5th-grade students. […] The students were incredibly engaged in this conversation and I was glad to have been able to teach the students something new about science. I am thankful that I was able to join a great organization like the Scientific Thinkers program and I am looking forward to continue working with the program in an effort to teach the next generation of scientists.”

See the full post on his E-Portfolio (link here)

-Connor Lambert, Chemical Engineering Student, Class of 2020


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“We were doing an experiment about condensation and how it forms when you
drop the pressure inside of a Soda bottle. Since I am an Atmospheric Science major I was best suited for explaining the process to the students. The hardest thing was being able to simplify my explanation as I was teaching to 2nd graders who likely did not know anything about Natural Gas Laws. I was able to overcome this and the students enjoyed our presentation and had fun doing the hands on experiment. This experience helped give me faith in my ability to present and has helped me feel more confident when speaking in general.”


-Christian Williams, Atmospheric Sciences, Class of 2019




“Scientific Thinkers is a program built on opportunities. College students are presented with opportunities to share their academic experiences with the community, but more importantly elementary students are given an opportunity to develop and cultivate a sincere interest in the sciences.”

-Constantine Nicolozakes, Biomedical Engineer Graduate




“The program is a valuable experience for us as well as the students we teach! Explaining how an electromagnet works or how mediums affect sound waves in a simple way strengthens our own grasp on these subjects. The program also gives us a chance to be positive role models in science- the students seem to love our visits!”

-Chelsea Vretenar, Mathematics Graduate



“It never ceases to amaze me how excited the students at Innis get when the Scientific Thinkers team comes in to teach them about science. They all want to grow up to be scientists now!”

-Alex Clark, Biomedical Engineer Graduate






 “It’s so much fun to see elementary school children excited about learning science! Scientific Thinkers is a fantastic program that allows the volunteers to share their knowledge with the community and gets tomorrow’s scientists excited to learn!”

-Mike Haupt, Biochemistry Graduate






“Scientific Thinkers gets tomorrow’s scientists excited about learning while reminding today’s leaders what all their hard work is for.”

-David Weinbrecht




“My favorite thing about Scientific Thinkers is getting to be able to watch the children explore and correct their mistakes halfway through an experiment; it is like watching a scientist at work.”

-Rachel Klein, Biochemistry Graduate

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