Reed College Science Outreach

Public School Teachers

The public school teachers we work with come from varied science backgrounds. However, all have great enthusiasm for learning, as well as patience in teaching us the realities of primary school education.

The program is looking for partner classrooms for the 2017/2018 year.
If you are interested in partnering, fill out our new partner school application.

Partnership History:

The Science Outreach Program focuses on high-need elementary schools. We are currently working in 19 classrooms at six schools: Pioner Special Schools, Beach, Grout, Lewis , 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, 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. Specifically, the Oregon Content Science Standards set benchmarks tested in the third and fifth grade year. 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 that will be rolled out in Oregon by the 2018-19 school year.


“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

Science Fairs

We also help to connect community members looking for science fair judges or mentor to interested student volunteers. Click here to learn more.