START Science - Spring 2014

Welcome to the START Science application for the upcoming semester! We are excited that you are interested in volunteering for START this semester, and would like to thank you in advance for your commitment.

Below, we have included some frequently asked questions about START, both regarding what the program is, and how it is run, so that you can have a better sense of who we are and what we do.

When you have finished reading through the informational section, click the continue button at the bottom of the page to begin your application.

    PRIMARY APPLICATION IS NOW CLOSED

    Our teams are filled up for the semester. If you'd still like to apply, we will put you on a reserve list and you'll be contacted if you're needed. Thanks!
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    What is START?

    START is a fully undergraduate-run initiative in which students from Yeshiva University go to local public elementary schools, which are largely populated with students who have traditionally been underrepresented in the sciences, and show the students that science can be exciting and engaging in ways that they had never considered. We run weekly modules consisting of topics ranging from Biology and Chemistry to Physics and Engineering, with everything in between. There are several schools in the Washington Heights and Inwood neighborhoods which have enjoyed hosting START over the past few years, ranging from second through eighth grade, and we tailor our modules to fit the appropriate grades and curricula of the various classrooms. For every week, the teams are composed of a module leader, who presents the material to the class, and 5-8 team members who help facilitate the break-out activity, working with small groups of students to lead them through the module.

    But what if I haven’t taken science courses?

    That’s okay! Volunteers for START come from all different majors, and we look for a diversity of student backgrounds in every module. We also have a mandatory training session before every module in order to ensure that everyone is familiar with the material before we go in to teach. Everyone has something to contribute, even if you don’t remember a thing from freshman bio!

    What kind of time commitment is START?

    The module itself is a time commitment of a little over an hour, factoring in time for transportation between the Wilf Campus and the school, and the 45 minute period. Additionally, before every START module, you must attend a mandatory training session in which the module leader will review the material to be covered, and lead a demonstration of the experiment(s) that will be conducted. That practice session is usually run for about 30-45 minutes one night a few days before the module. Your module leader will keep you informed of when that session is to be scheduled for any given week. Overall, expect to commit around two hours a week for any given module.

    How do I get to the schools?

    Most of the schools are within walking distance of the Wilf Campus, and there are walking groups for each module. For our volunteers who travel from Stern, there are also walking groups, and we pay for the subway fare. One of our schools is a few miles north of the Wilf Campus, so everyone takes a subway from their respective location. Again, we cover those fares.

    I heard that START is only on Fridays, but I have to take a class on Friday morning next semester. Can I still do START?

    Absolutely. Depending on when and where your class is, you have two options. First, we have some modules that begin early on Friday mornings and are over before 9:15. If that still doesn’t work with your schedule, we have a set of modules running on Thursday morning which finish at 8:45, in order to accommodate those who want to share their love of science throughout the week. Just let us know in the application what times work for you.

    What if I’m busy one of the weeks?

    You can sign up for up to four weeks a semester, but keep in mind that signing up for a week is a commitment that you will fill a spot on the schedule. Only commit if you can make it! If you know already that you won’t be available one week (because of a job or a shabbaton, for example), just mention that in the application.

    Can I lead a module?

    Our team leaders are looking for experienced START members who are motivated to invest the time and energy to develop and lead modules. If you’ve already participated in START a few times, and you want to lead a module, let us know in the application. Be as specific as possible regarding the module you have in mind. Once you’re put on a team, be in contact with the team leader.

    Do I get one of those cool shirts?

    Yes!

    Ready to apply?