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Are you looking for a way to meet NSF's Broader Impacts (Criterion 2) or other funding agencies' requests for outreach? CSIP offers a successful outreach model in which Cornell graduate students gain teaching expertise while leading science and engineering lessons in K-12 classrooms.

What is CSIP?
Why involve graduate students in outreach?
What do CSIP fellows do?
How can CSIP help Principal Investigators?
Quotes from Cornell faculty
Quotes from CSIP fellows

What is CSIP?
In 2000-06, the Cornell Science Inquiry Partnerships (CSIP) provided fellowships to graduate students who engaged in educational outreach. CSIP began in 1999, when Cornell received one of the nation's first NSF Graduate Teaching in K-12 Education (GK-12) grants, which was renewed in 2003 (PIs: Marianne Krasny and Nancy Trautmann). CSIP was highlighted in BioScience and selected by NSF as one of five programs to appear on a best practices panel. CSIP's grant is ineligible for further renewal, but we are seeking to continue supporting Cornell graduate students who are interested in educational outreach.

Why involve graduate students in outreach?
Working in partnership with K-12 teachers provides graduate students with training and experience in effective teaching and outreach to complement their training as scientists or engineers. W
e have found that engaging in outreach enhances graduate students’ teaching, communication, and scientific skills and helps them to develop broader perspectives on their research and potential future careers. For those aspiring to be faculty, the fellowship experience is likely to impact the ways in which they will teach and mentor student research. A recent article in Bioscience summarizes the impacts of CSIP on Cornell graduate students: Integrating Teaching and Research: A New Model for Graduate Education?

What do CSIP fellows do?
In CSIP, graduate student fellows collaborate with teachers to update science content and enhance inquiry learning in K-12 classrooms or nonformal settings. The fellows:

  • Develop lesson plans and curriculum resources based on their individual areas of interest and expertise.
  • Serve as positive role models.
  • Improve their teaching skills through guiding youth in inquiry-based learning.
  • Gain experience in addressing the educational needs of diverse learners.
  • Develop understandings of inquiry learning, effective teachingpractices, curriculum development, assessment, and related topics.

How can CSIP help Principal Investigators?
With increased interest by NSF and other funding agencies in educational outreach, you may be searching for an effective way to incorporate outreach into your proposals. We invite you to consider providing funding for graduate fellowships, which could be dedicated exclusively to outreach or could entail a combination of research and outreach.

Fellows funded through such proposals will be placed in K-12 classrooms for a specified number of hours per week with teachers who are interested in working with a visiting scientist. Individualized mentoring and our yearlong CSIP seminar will help the graduate students improve their skills in teaching, guiding student research, lesson planning, and assessing student learning.


If you are interested in including graduate student outreach in your grant proposal, contact us .

Quotes from CSIP faculty advisors:
  • “There's a wonderful carryover between trying to design experiments with students and her own research.”
  • "I think it has been great for [Fellow]. She is not only excited to be involved with teachers but seems even more organized and excited about her research."
  • "High school students are much harder to teach than Cornell undergrads. They represent a wider range of backgrounds and interest levels… It’s useful in generalizing one’s skills and experiences."

Quotes from CSIP fellows:

  • "I have gained confidence as a scientist. I ask clearer questions and find cleaner answers as a result of articulating the process to kids. I also am more aware of the context for the research I do."
  • "It has been EXCELLENT for me to think about the scientific process. My advisor will tell you, as a result, I am framing my questions in a much clearer fashion and answering them more directly and logically."
  • "My experience this year has really taught me that students need to be reminded or taught about how to do science and how science is done. I will definitely include this major issue in the design of my courses even for undergraduate students, and continue to think about ways to teach these important concepts."
  • "Before this year, I was familiar with just one high school environment – that of my own high school. Now I have a much more realistic impression of the diversity of environments that my future students will be coming from."

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