Reed College Science Outreach

Partnership History

The Science Outreach Program focuses on high-need elementary schools. We have worked with many schools in the past: Pioner Special Schools, Beach, Grout, Lewis, Mill Park, Gilbert Park, Earl Boyles, Ventura Park and Lincoln Park Elementary.

While Science Outreach has developed a general curriculum that Reed students use to teach each week's lessons, there is some flexibility built into the program, as each grade school teacher has a different set of goals and accommodations for his or her classroom. Each teacher has the opportunity to work with the Reed students to tailor the units to fit their specific classroom needs. The program allows for a great deal of interaction and coordination between all parties involved: Reed Professors, PPS teachers, DDSD teachers, Reed students and the kids.

Portland Public Schools have a limited budget, similar to most public school districts across the country. At the same time, higher standards are being placed on students to gain greater levels of proficiency in subjects, including science. The Science Outreach Program provides materials and teacher support to public school classes which otherwise lack the resources necessary to make science a priority in the classroom. The program is also beginning to revise its curriculum in preparation to align with the New Generation Science Standards.

“Since the beginning of this program, we have noticed a dramatic increase in our students’ interest in and understanding of science. In fifth grade, the state of Oregon tests students on their general science knowledge. Mr. Wallace’s class had the highest scores of the three fifth grade classes; the other two were not outreach classrooms. We attribute this stark contrast, in large part, to the content, experiments, discussions, field trips and hand-on scientific experiences provided by the outreach program.”
-Sarah Bennison, teacher, 3rd grade and Sam Wallace, teacher, 5th grade, Lincoln Park Elementary

STEM Kit Building


Science Fairs

We also help to connect community members looking for science fair judges or mentor to interested student volunteers. If interested, please contact Siira Rieschl, Program Manager, at or 503-788-6625.

Students present their integrated art and science project.