Broader Impacts Fair

"Broader Impacts" are the set of outcomes established by the National Science Foundation that encourage scientists to use their research and knowledge to improve society at large. Faculty applying for research grants and students applying for NSF graduate fellowships are required to demonstrate how their research contributes to the achievement of societally relevant outcomes. Students can view an 15-minute overview of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship program here.

The annual Broader Impacts Fair was held on October 28, 2021. If you missed it, you can still contact the participating organizations (listed below) anytime. Even if you are not applying to the National Science Foundation for research funds, you are welcome to get involved in any of these organizations.

Return to this page for the next Broader Impacts Fair in October 2022.

Argonne National Laboratory Educational Programs and Outreach

Contact: Jessica Burgess; join the education volunteer listserv

Argonne is a Department of Energy multidisciplinary science and engineering research center, where talented scientists and engineers work together to answer the biggest questions facing humanity, from how to obtain affordable clean energy to protecting ourselves and our environment.  Educational Programs and Outreach uses immersive and engaging programs to create STEM pathways for students throughout their journeys. Education volunteers play a critical role in shaping attitudes and understanding among our next-generation scientists and engineers. By becoming an Education Volunteer, you will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of events focused towards K-12 students and their families. 

Opportunities: STEM Festivals, Career talks/days with regional schools (K-12), Panel sessions, workshops for students, Competition judges/volunteers, summer camps and much more. Currently, all events are virtual.

Most relevant disciplines: Any science or engineering area


Carole Robertson Center for Learning

Contact: Kenny Riley

The Carole Robertson Center for Learning is a private non-profit organization serving more than 1000 children and their families on the west side of Chicago. Programs reach children at every stage of development—from birth to age 14. The Out of School Time program serves K-8 after school and day camp STEM and Social Emotional Learning programming.  

Opportunities: We need volunteers to lead STEM activities with youth. Help inspire future scientists. Help analyze program quality data. Support youth with math homework, lead virtual STEM classes, or coach an in-person Destination Imagination STEM team.

Relevant Disciplines: mathematics, social sciences

Collegiate Scholars

Contact: Ann Merrell or Abel Ochoa

Founded in 2003 and operated through the University of Chicago's Office of Civic Engagement, the Collegiate Scholars Program (CSP) is a three-year program designed to encourage high achieving and underrepresented Chicago Public Schools students to apply to and succeed at highly selective colleges and universities. CSP is shaped around a core curriculum of humanities, social science, math, and science courses. During the summer months, scholars are taught by University of Chicago faculty and PhD candidates. Enrichment activities during the academic year are geared toward college readiness, leadership development, civic engagement and cultural exploration.

Opportunities: In the summer, faculty and graduate students teach college-level courses to high school students. As an alternative to teaching a course, faculty and graduate students can also supervise a high school student intern to conduct summer research. During the academic year, volunteers can work with the Collegiate Scholars Program by offering a workshop, panel discussion, or other enrichment program to CSP high school students. Academic year events are designed to expose high school students to new areas of interest and provide information about a variety of academic/career pathways.  

Relevant Disciplines: physical sciences, biological sciences, engineering, social sciences

Chicago Pre-College Science and Engineering Program

Contact: Kenneth Hill

ChiS&E’s mission is to motivate and prepare historically under-represented groups (African Americans, Latinos) for careers in science, mathematics, engineering, or computer science.

Opportunities: We’d like to partner with UChicago to provide Saturday enrichment classes in science, computer science, mathematics and engineering.

Relevant disciplines: physical sciences, engineering, mathematics.

Data Science Institute

Contact: Katie Rosengarten, Program Manager

The Data Science Institute (DSI) grew out of the Center for Data and Computing, expanding the Center’s original research mission to include education and outreach. DSI engages with schools, industry, government, nonprofits, and the Chicago community.

OpportunitiesData and Computing Summer Lab: Paid opportunity for undergraduate and masters students to engage as research assistants on data science research projects. Paid opportunity for PhD students with background in computer science, statistics, or data science to serve as Lab Coordinators in the program. Opportunity for interested faculty to serve as mentors. Runs annually each summer.

Data Science Clinic: Opportunity for undergraduate and masters students (in select masters programs) to enroll in quarterly project-based courses.

Data4All High School Bridge Workshop: Volunteer opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to serve as mentor instructors. Next workshop date TBD, likely in 2022.

Relevant disciplines: Any discipline that intersects with computing and data science.

Elementary Science Olympiad

Contact: Stephanie Sang

Elementary Science Olympiad is a student organization that brings hands-on science activities to underserved elementary schools in the Chicago Public Schools district. We have been funded by the Clinton Global Initiative University program and the Women's Board Grants Fund. 

Opportunities: We are looking for volunteers to serve on our executive board. Members can set up partnerships with teachers and/or lead classroom activities.

Relevant Disciplines: physical sciences, biological sciences, engineering, social sciences

Expanding Your Horizons

Contact: Mohammed Saleem

Expanding Your Horizons Chicago (EYH Chicago) is a non-for-profit organization whose mission is to increase the representation of women from diverse backgrounds in STEM careers by exposing middle-school girls to positive, hands-on STEM experiences. We organize a one-day symposium for middle school girls in the Chicagoland area to engage in exciting workshops. This year’s conference will be held virtually on March 26, 2022, through an online conference platform. 

Opportunities: We are looking for both organizing committee members and day-of-event volunteers. The organizing committee works year-round to plan EYH, doing everything from fundraising to social media to recruiting workshop leaders, and more. The committee meets virtually once in January, and then twice a month until the event in March. Day of volunteers attend one training session, then volunteer during the day of the event. If you’re interested in joining, drop in on one of our monthly meetings.

Relevant Disciplines: physical sciences, biological sciences, engineering, social sciences, mathematics

GLAS Education

Contact: Kate Meredith

GLAS Education seeks to provide immersive, hands-on STEAM experiences for learners of all ages and abilities, anchoring a vibrant intellectual community that makes strong and lasting contributions to national educational priorities. Our strong focus on STEAM accessibility allows every individual, regardless of disability, to join the international search for knowledge. Through hands-on tech projects, scientific research programs, accessible tools development, and more, we give students around the globe access to real-world experience that matters, an international network of scientists, and a commitment to inclusion for every individual.

Opportunities: We're looking for volunteers able to meet virtually once per week and eager to assist students in the following projects to develop their engineering, astronomy, coding, and data management skills through design and analytics projects. The LENSS (Lakeshore Environmental and Night Sky Sensor) project brings together high school students to create custom sky quality sensors to monitor the impact of light pollution in local communities. The SEAS (Stone-Edge All-Sky) Survey, in partnership with West and Southern African students with a wide range of astronomy experience, seeks to build a map of the entire sky visible to the Stone-Edge telescope in California, establishing a database of consistently and robustly reduced data.  Students are very eager to improve their Python coding skills.  Other SEAS projects include supernova follow-up imaging, variable stars, and calculating asteroid light curves.

Most relevant disciplines: astronomy and astrophysics, physics, computer science, engineering

Homewood Science Center

Contact: Edie Dobrez

Homewood Science Center is a nonprofit community science center founded in 2016 to serve Chicago’s culturally and economically diverse south suburbs. Our mission is to inspire scientific wonder, learning, and pursuit. We work with educators, STEM professionals, and partner organizations to increase STEM literacy and foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM, so students can gain the skills and confidence they need to fully enjoy and contribute to the civic and commercial vibrancy of our region.

Opportunities: 1) Present an interactive activity at STEM Saturdays, 10 am - 1 pm;  2) present a STEM topic for our Spotlight On webinar series; 3) develop a hands-on activity kit for elementary age children;  4) serve as a mentor during Girls STEAM Ahead Success Club webinars.  We are flexible! If you have an idea of how to engage with the community, we want to hear it.

Relevant Disciplines: physical sciences, biological sciences, engineering, social sciences, mathematics

Illinois Science Council

Contact: Monica Metzler

Illinois Science Council (ISC) is a volunteer-driven nonprofit that engages, educates, and entertains the public about science and technology in our everyday lives. ISC serves as the adult complement to K-12 STEM outreach programs and we do it with a fun, non-stuffy approach through author talks, film screenings, topical talks, tours, hands-on chemistry (Chemistry of... beer, whiskey, chocolate, coffee, etc.), and we produce the Chicago Science Festival in May. We're game to develop creative science outreach initiatives with students or faculty for NSF broader impacts proposals or professional development.

Opportunities: We need volunteers to grow ISC and our programs. Everything can be done remotely; 1-2 hours/week max, e.g., (1) learn and implement Google Analytics/Google Ads marketing for science outreach programs; (2) help plan, research, and execute events; (3) improve and update our website (Wordpress) and social media presence; (4) promote events - digital, social media, public relations, guerilla marketing, etc.; (5) learn LinkedIn for Nonprofits or YouTube for Nonprofits then develop our presence there; (6) write, edit, promote articles for ISC’s blog “Science Unsealed.” (7) We’re always open to new ideas and you’re welcome to sit in our monthly Associates meetings on Zoom to check us out.

Relevant Disciplines: biological sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, engineering, mathematics

Illinois Science & Technology Coalition - Education

Contact: Becky Godlberg

The Illinois Science & Technology Coalition - Education team provides programs and partnerships to connect companies and universities with classrooms. ISTC - Education supports high schools, universities, and companies who want to impact the next generation of innovators to build a stronger, more inclusive talent pipeline in Illinois.

Opportunities: The ISTC - Education team hosts a virtual mentoring platform called The Mentor Matching Engine (MME). MME is an online collaboration tool that pairs high school students with mentors to collaborate on student-driven research projects. MME is a great way to give back to younger students—anytime, anywhere. It is also a helpful way to build your own experience in your field of study, build your CV, get students interested in your university, and interact with your community. We typically ask mentors to commit about half an hour a week. Communication is entirely virtual with all discussion and video conferencing through the platform. Mentoring on MME is a great way to reach students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to work with mentors like you.

Relevant Disciplines: social science, psychology, engineering, biology, technology

Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation

Contact: Diana Petty

The Mansueto Institute is a hub for urban science, training the next generation of urban scholars. We develop fundamental knowledge that drives and sustains cities, with the goal of creating a coherent field of Urban Science and Practice grounded in scientific excellence and innovation. In pursuit of this goal, the Institute brings together researchers from the social, natural, and computational sciences, along with the humanities, to pursue innovative, interdisciplinary scholarship, develop new educational programs, and provide leadership and evidence to support global, sustainable urban development.


  1. Graduate Certificate in Urban Science and Sustainable Development:

The Certificate is awarded in conjunction with existing graduate degree programs and explores the systemic and computational study of how cities work, grow, and develop to advance a more sustainable and equitable future.

  1. Urban Doctoral Fellows Program

This Fellowship provides a yearlong writing and professionalization experience for doctoral students whose research focuses on urban issues, including funding of up to $1,000 to support presentations at academic conferences.

  1. Urban Research Corps

The URC offers paid Research Assistant positions for graduate and advanced undergraduate students to help develop computational methods and tools to build more sustainable, equitable, and connected cities.

  1. Kreisman Graduate Fellows Program

This Fellowship creates an interdisciplinary cohort of graduate students who are committed to pursuing careers in housing research or practice, including a $4,000 award to support an internship or research project of their own design as well as intimate lunch-and-learn meetings with housing experts.

Relevant disciplines: social sciences, computational sciences, engineering, environmental sciences, public policy


Contact: Nia Abudullah

MAPSCorps is a nonprofit organization that grew out of the South Side Health and Vitality Studies, led by the research laboratory of Stacy Lindau, MD, MAPP, at the University of Chicago. The interdisciplinary lab uses an asset-based, community-engaged approach to create solutions to injustice. In collaboration with a broad range of community stakeholders and university researchers, the MAPSCorps program is now in its eighth consecutive year providing meaningful work experience and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Health) training to high school youth.

Opportunities:  Volunteers opportunities with MAPSCorps can occur in-person or virtually: tutoring for math and SAT prep; teaching data science workshops; assisting with college application process; social media project plans; virtual fundraising events; organizing career panels/college tours.

Relevant disciplines: physical sciences, biological sciences, social sciences, engineering, mathematics, public health, public policy

National Society of Black Engineers

Contact: Benita Mordi

The Chicago Professionals chapter of NSBE has been dedicated to fulfilling the NSBE mission in the Chicagoland community since 1989. Our mission is to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community. The vision of the NSBE Chicago Professionals is to provide support and training to every part of the STEM pipeline in Chicago, which includes (1) providing K-12 STEM academic assistance, technical training, mentorship and leadership training; (2) providing support to over 400 engineering students at local universities; (3) providing career, technical and leadership assistance to engineering professionals; and (4) providing STEM programs and academic and technical support to our community partners.

Opportunities: Our volunteers work with our Executive Board on several membership teams to execute on our mission and vision. Volunteers help with facilitating our K-12 programs, professional programs, social media content, corporate and educational advocacy, community outreach and more.  

Relevant Disciplines: Biological sciences, physical sciences, engineering, mathematics.

Neighborhood Schools Program

Contact: Monica Luna

Founded in 1976 as an effort to create pathways of engagement between the University and local schools, the Neighborhood Schools Program has grown and now partners with 50 sites on Chicago's South Side and involves over 500 University student employees/volunteers engaging with more than 4,000 local youth annually. Our 50 sites include elementary, middle, and high schools, community centers, and government offices. We place students in roles such as tutors, teaching assistants, administrative interns, and preschool specialists.

Opportunities: NSP employees/volunteers can work in schools as tutors, teaching assistants, and/or administrative interns. Some of our highly-engaged program participants choose to develop and implement their own after-school initiatives at their placement sites. Science undergrad/grad students would help us make science and science research more accessible to community youth on the South Side of Chicago.

Relevant Disciplines: Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, Mathematics

Project Syncere

Contact: Valencia Turner

Project SYNCERE is an educational nonprofit whose mission is to prepare the minds and create pathways for underrepresented students to pursue STEM careers. Through its work, more than 25,000 students have learned about STEM careers across the city of Chicago. 

Opportunities: Facilitators will be responsible for leading a class of 20-30 elementary or high school students, with a co-instructor, through hands-on and interactive STEM design challenges. Volunteers will be willing to travel to school locations, work as a part of a collaborative teaching team and must possess the ability to work well with colleagues, parents, and students.

Relevant Disciplines: Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics

Best suited for: College students, Graduate students

Space Explorers

Contact: Brian Nord

Space Explorers is a joint venture between KICP and Chicago public schools to use innovative pedagogical strategies that help high school students learn skills in critical thinking and communication in scientific contexts. The goal is for them to connect everyday life with scientific concepts and the habits of scientific thinking. Each year, we choose a different intersection of themes and topics. In previous years, we have worked with artificial intelligence, quantum computing, space travel, robotics, electronics, and more!

Opportunities: There are two major activities that we engage in: 1) development of novel curricula and activities; 2) classroom instruction with high school students. Almost all positions and opportunities are paid. There are multiple positions. Lead Graduate Instructor: lead development of new curriculum and in-class activities (1 year; full funding). Undergraduate and Graduate co-Instructor: assist in activity development, instruct in-class (various times throughout year; hourly)

Most relevant disciplines: physics, astronomy, engineering, computing, chemistry, biology

Splash! Chicago

Contact: Chloe Lindeman

Splash! Chicago organizes free classes for high school students on topics ranging from introductory quantum mechanics to international cinema to paradoxes in probability. Teach about your research, a hobby, or anything else that you are excited to share!  This year, we will host two events: a one-day event with hour-long classes in the winter and a five-week Tuesday night program in the spring. We're looking both for board members (weekly meetings to organize events) and teachers (one-time commitment).

Opportunities: We have two main roles to fill: teachers and board members. Teachers sign up to teach on a one-time basis. Classes can be on virtually any topic; we try to get a wide range of subjects for each event. The board is a more regular commitment as we meet weekly throughout each quarter to plan our events, reach out to high schoolers, and recruit teachers.

Relevant Disciplines: Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences,  Social Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics

Tutoring Chicago

Contact: EL Da' Sheon Nix

Tutoring Chicago is a private, non-profit organization that provides free weekly tutoring to over 1,000 1-8 grade Chicagoland students facing economic and social barriers. The organization is entering its 56th year of service and will have a capacity to enroll close to 1,200+ students and volunteers for the 2021-2022 program year!

Opportunities: Tutoring Chicago is always looking for dedicated and committed volunteers to serve as tutors that provide weekly tutoring/mentoring support to our amazing students. Tutors are paired on-to-one with students, and provide support in a variety of different subject areas.

In order to meet the needs of the growing number of students, Tutoring Chicago is looking to secure more dynamic volunteer tutors. Tutoring Chicago also provides occasional one-time volunteer opportunities where support is needed for various activities and events.  Tutoring Chicago will offer both in-person and virtual options for the 2021-2022 program year.

Relevant Disciplines: Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics

University of Chicago Biotechnology Association (UCBA)

Contact: William Grubbe

We are a student-run organization that aims to facilitate professional development in the area of biotechnology research and the life sciences in general. Our focus is on connecting grad students and post docs with UChicago alumni in the field, developing an on-campus community of people interested in biotechnology and the life sciences, and exploring non-academic careers through connections with business and entrepreneurship programs at UChicago. We have also traditionally held pub nights and other social gatherings open to all interested students, and have hosted speaker events on campus.

Opportunities: We are recruiting two positions on our executive team, Treasurer and Secretary, and are also recruiting for general membership. UCBA membership helps you to meet other graduate students interested in biotechnology and the life sciences, develop connections with older graduate students and alumni, and learn more about the field. UCBA members will be added to our email listserv to receive job opportunities and networking event information such as the annual Pub Night. Scientists can help our organization by participating in our networking events, inviting our group for a tour of their workplaces, and participating in our speaker panels. If you are interested in helping grow and develop this organization, we would love to work with you! 

Relevant Disciplines: Biological sciences, physical sciences, molecular engineering

University of Chicago Mathematics – Polk Brothers Program

Contact: Robert Fefferman

Opportunities: We have available teaching assistantships, and other positions that involve interacting with the participating teachers.

Relevant Disciplines: Mathematics

University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center

Contact: Megan Mekinda, PhD

The UCCCC supports cancer education and training initiatives across the career continuum. These include four cancer research pathway programs for high school and college students: SHE (Summer Healthcare Experience) in Oncology, researcHStart, Diversity in Cancer Research, and Chicago EYES on Cancer. The EYES program also welcomes secondary science educators. Our programs have the shared goal of increasing diversity within the biomedical workforce.  

Opportunities: The UCCCC is recruiting volunteers to help with a range of education initiatives, particularly our cancer research training programs for high school and college students. Our volunteers serve as peer mentors, panelists and workshop facilitators. They also accompany us to schools and other local organizations (e.g., MSI) to educate our community about biomedical research and careers in the field. Commitments range from one hour to several weeks. There is generally minimal prep work and often none at all.

Relevant Disciplines: Biological Sciences

Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)

Contact: Juan Ibarra and Angel Salazar

The mission of UChicago SACNAS is to enhance the public understanding of and appreciation of our vibrant Chicano, Latino, Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and minority communities in STEM at the University of Chicago and beyond. Through various programs and advocacy, we both empower and support inclusivity, professional advancement, and educational opportunity for STEM students and trainees to succeed in their respective fields. We further provide a forum for students of color to come together for academic, community service and social activities.  

Opportunities: Executive leadership, project leaders, mentorship, service, outreach  

Relevant disciplines: biological sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, engineering, mathematics  

Contact Jennifer Woods with any questions.

Co-sponsors include the Physical Sciences Division, the Division of Biological Sciences, the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, the Division of Social Sciences, the College, and the Office of Civic Engagement.