Outreach for Adolescents

Mary Ann Sesma msesma at zeus.bell.k12.ca.us
Wed Feb 4 13:50:43 EST 1998

I share these  hard learned lessons (as teacher and principal) when dealing
with outreach programs.
Outreach is a  public service and should be given  the highest level of
recognition.  Publicity  is critical. Tell people that you are doing  good
things for kids.  Most local  Outreach fall down in this category.
There are major planning needs that bring about a good Outreach program.
Schools  and students should be expected to send a thank you note   If you
do not get a public thanks--drop the group. The best of all worlds is to
have the principal of the school involved and coming to the session(s) this
gives Outreach major clout.

Operational Aspects:
1. Insurance:   When you do Outreach at request of universities, colleges,
alumni, and all other groups   be sure that you are covered by insurance.
Todays' society is litigious and in multiple situations you need insurance
or at least the assurance of same through your educational institution.
BESURE that you have a first aid kit available.
2. Know your Audience:   Get a profile of the population first.
Demographics, social levels, income of families, language ability., ability
level, interests and courses that the students are taking in high school
that pertain to your discipine in science and math.
3. Permission:  Choose your population carefully, and always be sure that
you have the following on hand:  emergency cards, parent permission and/or
school permission--the public schools will probably have insurance : BUT
CHECK.    (These may be one and the same if you are working with a public
4. . Don't get involved in transporting kids--- too expensive to support
your own insurance .
5..Communication:   Communication with non-English speaking population-- if
you do not speak the language get a good translator.
6.  Groups:   It is better that you work in small  groups (5+++) so that
you can initially establish :  A.  behavioral standards and B.   laboratory
protocols.  Make sure that the kids know that this is a major privilege.
Do not be afraid to drop a kid if these  are not met.

 Curricular and Instruction Issues:
7. From my perspective:  it is far better to have a teacher + principal
involved from the school so that there is a heavy presence.   This pays
dividends in that the everybody gets to learn, , and the kids can  return
to the teacher after outreach and discussion groups can be initiated.
8. If you are doing outreach over time with the same group; set goals,
define objectives, measure outcomes. You have a right to expect positive
9. The best outreach programs are over time with multiple encounters with
the scientist (Internet use if possible).
10.Select activities that tie into curriculum and build upon it.  Problem
solving always, and get those kids to WRITE, WRITE, WRITE.
11. If you are having multiple sessions with a single group at the final
session invite the parents and have the kids present (a la science
poster/fair).  This brings the family into the act.

If any members of the list need more assistance, please feel free to e-
mail me.

Mary Ann Sesma                          e mail
1621 Sunnyhill Drive                    msesma at bell.k12.ca.us (preferred)
Monterey Park, CA 91754                 sesma at aol.com
phone; (213)261-5860

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