The end of the year is a great time to think about how to get involved in volunteer activities that help support the community and build the next generation of STEM leaders. The Government and Community Relations (GCR) and Workforce Development & Education departments at the Lab offer many opportunities to consider.
The GCR team launched a Lab volunteer website this past fall that lists multiple opportunities, including K-12 mentoring opportunities and community support activities. The site streamlines the process so that volunteers from the Lab community exploring more than one opportunity can fill out just one form; once you’ve registered, you will also receive information about other volunteer opportunities during the year.
GCR’s ’ K-12 program is currently seeking mentors for high school student internships at the Lab for next summer. These internships will still be virtual (not onsite), and will typically require three to four hours per week of contact with the student and provide 15-20 hours of work a week for the student. The deadline for submitting volunteer interest in these mentorship opportunities is January14.In addition, teachers in the Bay Area are also looking for panelists for career discussions and judges for science fairs. If you are willing to help, register on the Government and Community Relations volunteer website.
“There are many students in our community who don’t have a close family member or someone in their network who can build their confidence, make them feel like they could belong in a STEM field, and help them understand what a STEM career looks like,” said Faith Dukes, director of the Lab’s K-12 STEM Education Program. “Researchers and staff at the Lab can help remove a barrier in their participation in STEM.”
The Workforce Development and Education (WD&E) Program also has many opportunities for Lab staff to mentor undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty interns. The program hosted more than 100 interns in 2021.
One opportunity is the Community College Internship (CCI), a DOE-funded program. Through this program, interns work at the Lab for ten weeks in the summer or sixteen weeks in the spring and fall, under the guidance of staff scientists, engineers, or technologists.
The DOE’s Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program is another example. It encourages undergraduates from two- and four-year colleges, post-baccalaureates, and graduate students to pursue STEM careers by providing research internships at a National Laboratory.
The WD&E team is working on getting the word out about these internship programs to students in the community, encouraging them to contact Lab researchers in their areas of interest for possible internships. If you know students who may be interested in interning at the Lab, please encourage them to apply. Visit the WD&E website for more information.
For more information about K-12 programs, contact Faith Dukes, FDukes@lbl.gov. For information about undergraduate, graduate, and faculty programs contact Nakeiah Harrel, email NHarrell@lbl.gov.