ACS Science Coaches--How to Become a Coach

Step 1. Partner with a Teacher

You know the science, you’re a living example of what a chemist is like, and you enjoy science so much you chose to devote your career to it! Teachers know students, the curriculum, classroom management, and how to create opportunities for students to learn. Together, you would make a great team for the ACS Science Coaches program! Meet with the teacher to discuss how you might work together. Partnerships should be customized to meet the needs of the teacher while capitalizing on your expertise and interests.­

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Step 2. Sign Up

To sign up for the ACS Science Coaches program, you must submit a short proposal with the following information:

  • Your contact information
  • Teacher’s name and e-mail address
  • How you plan to assist the teacher during the school year
  • Your experience volunteering in a school setting
  • Your motivation for participating in the ACS Science Coaches program

Once the chemist portion of the proposal is complete, the teacher will automatically receive an e-mail from the ACS Science Coaches program. This e-mail will contain a link to the teacher portion of the proposal. Please let the teacher know when you have completed your portion of the proposal in the event that it gets caught in the school or district’s spam filter, in which case the teacher must contact ACS staff at for a link to the proposal.

The teacher should be able to fill out the form quickly and easily. The following information is collected on the teacher portion of the proposal:

  • School contact information
  • Grade levels and courses being taught
  • Plans with the chemist
  • Motivation for accepting the chemist’s offer of assistance


Volunteer Ideas

Here are examples of how you can help a teacher:

  • Help find demonstrations
  • Help plan lessons
  • Prepare hands-on science experiences
  • Assist with student laboratory activities
  • Advise on safety issues
  • Find or evaluate science resources
  • Write grants
  • Answer science questions from students
  • Provide career information
  • Present science lessons
  • Bring in guest speakers
  • Assist with a special project
  • Tutor students
  • Help students conduct their own research
  • Advise an ACS High School ChemClub
  • Mentor a Science Olympiad Team

Step 3. Proposal Evaluation

Proposals will be evaluated to determine how well they align with the mission of the ACS Science Coaches program: to help elementary, middle, and high school teachers provide innovative, relevant, and effective science education to their students through the expertise, enthusiasm, and commitment of a dedicated ACS chemist.

Excellent proposals may be declined due to the limited number of grants available through the ACS Science Coaches program each year. Also, chemist-teacher partners who are married to one another will not be eligible for the grant.

If the proposal is accepted, coach-teacher partners will need to:

  • Submit a letter of support from the administration
  • Submit a brief, end-of-year report demonstrating what was accomplished through this partnership
  • Complete surveys in January and May
  • Obtain the grant from the school in February



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