STEMskiller: Skill Set Map for Mentors of Early Career Researchers

Impact and public engagement

Engaging with schools


One aspect of “impact” can involve researchers engaging with K-12 schools in order to foster interest in STEM fields and to spur students into considering university programs. Some researchers use K-12 students as participants (“human subjects’) in research projects, and such projects may (depending on institutional policies) require researchers to follow special guidelines and approval of a project by an institutional research board (IRB).[1]

[1] University of Massachusetts at Amherst Research and Engagement: Research Administration & Compliance. (2019). Research in K-12 Settings.

Useful resources on Engaging with schools:

MIT. (2020). MIT Outreach.

Model for institutions wishing to provide a record of outreach activities in all areas. Prompts elementary, middle, and high school students and teachers to “explore”. Students at all levels can: visit campus, learn (on and off campus), and discover research internships and competitions. Educators can: learn how to bring students to campus and discover online teaching materials and professional development resources.

National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement. (2017). Working with Schools.

This six-page overview document outlines reasons for becoming involved in schools, planning activities, ways to work with schools, finding schools, tips, and selected additional resources (UK-oriented, but could serve as models for countries without similar resources).

National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement & Research Councils UK. (n.d.). School-University Partnerships: Lessons from the RCUK-funded School-University Partnerships Initiative (SUPI).

Describes the SUPI initiative, initiated in 2013, with its 12 projects. Discusses key learning points, which can be used to inform future projects in any context. 

University of California Berkeley. (2020). Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP).

Model for institutions wishing to implement long-term partnerships with schools (EAOP has been active for over 30 years). Provides services (advising on university admissions, financial aid, and applications) and academic enrichment programs to prepare students for future academic success. Includes pre-college academy, summer academy, and SAT academy.

Tags: PSR CE; CompTS; CompGS

Peer Review: None

Table of contents:

4.2.6. Engaging with schools


Author: Stephanie Krueger

Peer Reviewer(s): None

Last Updated: October 28, 2021


Editor: Stephanie Krueger Last modified: 28.10. 2021 13:10