Thomas Jefferson University is dedicated to outreach programs that seek to inspire and prepare the next generation of students in our community interested in pursuing science and medicine. There are many opportunities to provide hands-on experience as well as insight into a career in science to students at all levels of education through programs developed at Jefferson and in the surrounding area. Many of these programs seek volunteers who are Jefferson students, postdocs, or faculty from all campuses. These opportunities have varying levels of time and commitment, so whether you are passionately dedicated to performing outreach or simply looking to get involved, there is something for everyone!
Please see the information and links provided for the programs listed below to learn more. For recommendations on other outreach opportunities, please contact Lisa Kozlowski, PhD or Jenny Schneider, PhD.
RockEDU - Science Outreach Resources
RockEDU - Curated science resources created by and for scientists, educators, and outreach professionals.
Jefferson Pathway Programs; a Jefferson outreach initiative
Year-round opportunities with varied involvement.
The Jefferson Pipeline outreach programs were developed to increase the pool of diverse and talented individuals entering fields in health care. Since their inception these programs have reached students of all ages in the community to inspire future biomedical researchers and health professionals. The Pipeline programs include:
- The Saturday Academy: Interested volunteers can work with middle school students at the Saturday Academy where they give basic science lectures and lead fun hands-on activities.
- SummerScience@Jefferson: For a month in the summer, high school students attend daily sessions where Jefferson scientists give lectures, lead discussions and aid in hands-on lab experiments for high school students.
- Future Health Professionals: A weekly program from November through March aimed at providing mentorship and experiential opportunities to underrepresented minority high school students interested in careers in health professions and medicine.
- STEP-UP: A variety of programs aimed at providing enrichment to undergraduate students interested in applying for graduate school or pursuing occupational therapy, physical therapy, or medicine.
Get involved in any of the Jefferson Pipeline programs.
Jefferson Student Organizations
Many of the student-led organizations at Jefferson are highly involved in the community and offer various outreach opportunities.
Note: Some groups accept members from the entire Jefferson community (e.g. Jeff Cares for Kids, JeffHOPE), while others may restrict membership (e.g. Refugee Health Partners is restricted to all Jefferson students).
View the full directory of Jefferson’s student-led organizations to read more about the organizations’ work.
The Girls Inc. Experience empowers girls to succeed. Girls Inc. provides girls with trusting, mentoring relationships; a girls-only environment, and research-based, hands-on programming. Three critical goals drive our programming – that girls lead healthy lives, succeed academically, and have life skills needed that prepare them for adulthood. To meet our goal of girls leading healthy lives, we work to ensure that girls have the skills, knowledge, and support to take charge of their health and increase healthy behaviors throughout their lives.
We are always looking for dedicated volunteers, and there are so many ways to get involved.
By working with The Connectory and VolunteerMatch, you can help empower the next generation of innovators. The process of teaching and learning STEAM offers youth opportunities to make sense of the world they live in and prepare them for the future workforce.
Philadelphia Science Festival
Annually - Held in April
The Philadelphia Science Festival is an annual nine day event that seeks to inspire and engage the public, children and adults alike, in a celebration of science. Jefferson teams participate in fun hands-on activities, which in past years have included star-gazing in Lubert Plaza, a teddy bear clinic to inspire future doctors, and a lesson on staying safe in the sun from the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at a Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park.
PAGES- Philadelphia Area Girls Enjoying Science
Fall and Spring Sessions held each year
PAGES offers 6th grade girls in the Philadelphia area a chance to interact with female scientists and participate in hands on learning to foster their interest in STEM fields. Students who have been nominated by their teachers attend one of two annual mini-conference at Chestnut Hill College to hear keynote addresses by women in science, perform experiments in a lab, and speak with female scientists in non-traditional fields.
Please note, this program requires Pennsylvania criminal record check, child abuse clearance, and FBI fingerprint criminal checks from participants in advance.
Fall and Spring Semesters
Volunteers currently needed to judge science fairs this December
iPRAXIS serves public and charter middle school students and teachers in Philadelphia through classroom workshops, presentations, after-school science clubs and science fairs in order to increase understanding of STEM topics and careers. iPraxis believes that seeing the diverse faces of real scientists and participating in hands-on learning in and out of the classroom inspires the next generation of innovators. Meet with students in their classrooms once a week to assist in designing and completing projects as a science fair mentor, or become a science fair judge for a day to evaluate the final projects. iPRAXIS is also looking for volunteers to give career or STEM classroom presentations that expound on a topic from their science curriculum while introducing students to a STEM career path.
Please note, this program requires PA criminal record check, child abuse clearance, and FBI fingerprint criminal checks from participants in advance.
Year-round, long term commitment
Philadelphia Futures is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing low income, first-generation-to-college students with the tools and support required for admission and success in college. Philadelphia Futures looks for passionate college graduates to mentor students in their 10th grade year through their first year in college, though many relationships last for much longer. Mentors meet with their student once a month to study for SAT’s, go to cultural or sporting events, attend Philadelphia Futures events, visit colleges, etc. Mentors are supportive role models who provide insight and inspiration to the next generation of college graduates.