Reed College Science Outreach

Join Us!

Salmon Release Fieldtrip
Photo by Paul Colvin.

Why join?

  • Be a positive role model for students from a wide range of backgrounds.
  • Help us build a foundation for scientific literacy in the next generation.
  • Provide much needed resources and support to schools in the Portland Metro.
  • Get out of the Reed bubble and learn more about the Portland community.
  • Gain hands-on classroom teaching experience.
  • Receive training in educational techniques. Additional resources are available for students interested in a career in education...
  • Build relationships with passionate teachers, enthusiastic children, and like-minded Reedies.
  • Build your resume and important career-building skills.
  • ...and get paid to do it!

Who are we looking for?

Image: learning about food webs
Barney Potter '16 teaches students about food webs with a hands-on game!
Photo by Paul Colvin.
  • All majors are encouraged to apply! (Many of our teachers are non-science majors...)
  • The most important consideration is enthusiastic interest in teaching elementary students basic science lessons.
  • Ability to commit to teaching for the entire semester (8 lessons minimum...although a year long commitment is preferred). This position also requires a significant commitment of time and effort (more than many other campus jobs) and requires a high level of reliability & professionalism.
  • Experience working with children is a plus, but not required.
  • Access to personal transportation is helpful, but not necessary.


Employment Opportunities

Volunteer opportunities are always available. 

Teaching Positions

The Science Outreach Program hires Reed students to teach science experiments in local public school classrooms. We pay Outreach teachers an hourly rate for time spent in the classroom and the weekly prep meetings prior to each unit. We organize transportation- most groups tend to carpool, though Reed vans are used when necessary. Drivers are paid for travel time and reimbursed for mileage. Groups are arranged depending on scheduling availability.

The commitment is a serious one. Most groups teach at least one sixty-minute class each week for 15 weeks during the school year. Many Reed students teach more than one class.  In addition to the hours spent teaching, trainings and a minimum of 1/2 hour per week is also required to organize and prepare before teaching in the classroom. All the schools are located approximately 15-40 minutes away so your schedule must allow time to get there and back. Ultimately, it must be understood that the kids and teachers count on the Reedies being in their classroom on time and prepared to teach.

Lab Assistant

While most of our student employees work to prepare and teach lessons in the classroom, there is also significant behind-the-scenes work that makes the program possible.

As a Lab Assistant you will work to prepare and maintain lesson materials, to maintain the Outreach lab space, and other duties and special projects as assigned. Tasks may include, but are not limited to making copies, cleaning and organizing supplies, assembling and disassembling equipment, measuring, mixing, and allocating chemicals and solutions. Since Lab Assistants work in the lab, all work is in-person. Lab Assistants usually work 4-6 hours a week in 2-3 shifts per week..

Administrative Assistant

Similar to the lab assistant, administrative assistants work behind-the-scenes in order to support the teaching positions and the program as a whole. 

As an Administrative Assistant, the main responsibilities include: website editing, data collection, and  helping out with teacher trainings, newsletters and end of year reporting. This position has flexible with hours because work can be asynchronous or in person. Administrative Assistants tend to work 4-6 hours per week and shifts tend to vary. 

Ready to Apply?

Applications are currently closed, but may reopen! To express interest, fill out the form at

If you have any questions, please contact Siira Rieschl, Program Manager,
phone: 503-788-6625, email:, office: B216 (new office alert!!)


Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer opportunities at Science Outreach

Teaching Assistant Volunteer

You will be assigned to work with a team of 2-3 full-time Outreach teachers to help prepare and teach one or more hands-on science lessons to local elementary school students. Training, curriculum and all unit materials provided.

You can choose to just try teaching a couple lessons, or volunteer to teach regularly for the entire semester.

Outreach teaches at schools across the Portland Metro. It is not necessary for you to find your own transportation to the school. The program will assign groups with at least one member who is willing to drive their personal car or a Reed van to the school

Material Prep Volunteer

Much of the work that makes Science Outreach possible happens behind the scenes. Volunteers play a critical part in keeping our teaching teams supplied with the materials they need to teach in the classroom. As a volunteer you will help to measure, assemble, and pack lesson materials. You may also be asked to disassemble and put away supplies at the end of a lesson and to help keep the lab space clean and organized. The tasks will be varied and you will be able to volunteer according to you schedule and availability.

Development and PR Volunteer

If you want to support the program, but know that teaching science isn’t your thing, you could help by spreading the word about the program. Projects will vary based on your interests; however, you may be asked to accompany a teaching team to photograph a lesson, to write posts for the Outreach blog, to write articles for the Quest or the Oregonian, or to keep the Outreach Facebook page updated and relevant. This volunteer position is very flexible. Much of the work can be done on your schedule!

Ready to Sign-Up as a Volunteer?

Volunter Application 2023/2024

 Feel free to fill out the form at, even if you just want to be on the list for when paid positions become available!