Broader Impacts Fair

Broader Impacts Fair

The 2024 Broader Impacts Fair will be held on Thursday, October 10, 2024, from noon until 2:00 p.m. in the atrium of the William Eckhardt Research Center. “Broader Impacts” refers to the ways in which research in mathematics, engineering, and the natural and social sciences can have a broad impact on society through education, policy, and economic development. Come and meet representatives from over 20 organizations who will describe how students, faculty, and postdocs can get involved in volunteer opportunities to advance broader impact goals. Organizations that participated in last year’s fair are listed below and they are still welcoming volunteers—you are welcome to contact them anytime. This page will be updated as these and other organizations confirm their participation in the 2024 fair.

Participants

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, we offer virtual and in-person opportunities.

Most relevant disciplines: Any science or engineering area

Beat the Streets

Contact: Adam Lemke-Bell

Beat the Streets Chicago is a non-profit organization that empowers Chicago youth through wrestling. We combine year-round wrestling programs with customized enrichment opportunities so that children can become their best selves.  Mentoring, tutoring, workshops and positive relationships combined with the unique power of wrestling changes lives.  

We welcome youth aged 5 through 23, whether they are looking for fun, physical literacy and wellness or something much deeper and impactful. As the largest wrestling organization in Illinois, we reach over 2,500 young people each year through wrestling and enrichment programs at six primary sites and twenty CPS partner sites. 

Opportunities: We would like to partner with UChicago to provide quality tutors in math and science to the youth we serve.

Bronzeville Fencing Academy

Contact: Deriall Reed or information@bfafencing.org

The Bronzeville Fencing Academy works with the Pathway to Adventure Council Boy Scouts of America to provide targeted intervention to reduce “flashmob” delinquency, violence, and other criminality exposure in at-risk youth populations. Our youth development programs prevent youth delinquency and violence and produce better school attendance and performance, which helps develop youth and place them on a more productive path.

Carole Robertson Center for Learning

ContactKenny Riley

The Carole Robertson Center for Learning is a private non-profit organization serving more than 2500 children and their families living in underserved communities on the west and northsides of Chicago. Programs reach children at every stage of development—from birth to age 14. The Out of School Time program provides programming for K-8 students after school and at day camps in STEM, literacy, and social emotional learning.

Opportunities: We need volunteers to provide math or reading tutoring, or lead STEM activities with youth. Help inspire future scientists. Support youth with homework, or coach an in-person Destination Imagination STEM team.

Relevant Disciplines: mathematics, social sciences

Center for Robust Decision-making on Climate and Energy Policy (RDCEP)

Contact: Seth Severns

UChicago’s Center for Robust Decision-making on Climate and Energy Policy (RDCEP) brings together experts in climate science, statistics, computer science, economics, energy, public policy, and law with a mission to improve society’s ability to respond to climate change and energy supply challenges by creating computational tools that help policymakers deal effectively with uncertainty. We have a strong K-12 educational outreach program that aims to inspire students to think critically and take a multidisciplinary and computational approach to problem solving. Topics include urban research, energy science, computational thinking, coding, data analysis and visualization, and more.

Opportunities1) Help with a one-hour school visit for a hands-on project. 2) Help for one to two hours each week with urban research projects. 3) Design your own lessons and projects (with help from RDCEP staff) to teach at schools based on your academic interests. 4) Volunteer with Chicago Public Schools’ family STEM nights, Career talks, science fairs, or summer camps at UChicago and in Chicago public schools and parks.

Relevant disciplines: any discipline

Data Science Institute

Contact: Questions about any of the opportunities listed below? Please email data-science@uchicago.edu

The Data Science Institute (DSI) executes the University of Chicago’s bold, innovative vision of Data Science as a new discipline by advancing interdisciplinary research, partnerships with industry, government, and social impact organizations, and holistic data science education.

Opportunities

DSI 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 CS, statistics, or data science to serve as Lab Coordinators in the program. Opportunity for interested faculty to serve as mentors. Runs annually each summer. Application for 2023 program to be launched later this fall.

Data4All High School Bridge Workshop: Paid opportunity for undergraduates with background in CS or data science to serve as mentors in the Data4All workshop, teaching Chicagoland area high schoolers introductory data science skills. Undergraduate mentors receive $2,000 stipend for their contributions, and participate in trauma-informed facilitation training. Runs weekly on Saturday afternoons for 8 weeks during fall and spring quarters.

Data Science Clinic: The Data Science Clinic is an experiential project-based course. Clinic gives students the opportunity to solve real-world problems from industry, government and nonprofits under the guidance of expert mentors. Clinic TA opportunities are available every quarter. 

Community Data Fellows: The DSI pairs community-focused nonprofit organizations with UChicago graduate students to build organizational data capacity and scope and complete mission-centric data projects. This paid opportunity is open to all disciplines, and students with experience in data science, public policy, social work, and/or computer science are encouraged to apply. This unique program is aimed at students interested in developing real-world solutions to data problems across multiple social impact areas.  

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

Expanding Your Horizons

Contact: Maggie Steiner and Alexis Thornburg

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 in Spring 2024.

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 once a month from September – January, 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

Girls Who Code

Contact: Rose Bradford

Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago (TTIC) is an academic computer science institute located on the University of Chicago campus. We are dedicated to research and academic excellence, and aim to provide opportunity, inclusion, access, and expanded representation in STEM fields to communities of color, first-generation college students, women, and others. We partner with Girls Who Code to provide free and flexible computer science programs for 3rd-12th grade students to learn how to make a positive impact on the world through computer science.

Opportunities: TTIC continues to pursue and expand community outreach and programs that benefit our neighbors and create long-term opportunities for participants. We are currently working with the program Girls Who Code, which is an after-school coding program for elementary and high school girls. 

TTIC has worked with various area CPS schools and is continuing in its role as Community Partner. Volunteer facilitators commit 1-2 hours per week to help teach sessions for a ten-week quarter. If interested, contact rose@ttic.edu for more information."

Relevant Disciplines: computer science, information technology

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) host an outreach table on a topic about the natural world at Walk Walton on Sunday Oct 23, 9 am - 1 pm at Izaak Walton Preserve in Homewood 3) develop a hands-on activity kit for elementary age children;  4) serve as a mentor during Girls STEAM Ahead Success Club.  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 & Technology Coalition - Education

Contact: Tanvi Dharap, Program Manager of Mentorship

Opportunities: The Illinois Science & Technology Coalition’s (ISTC) primary goal as an education nonprofit is to nurture the future innovators of STEM through mentorship and hands-on research development in countless disciplines, including the physical sciences. Through ISTC’s virtual mentoring platform, The Mentor Matching Engine (MME), high school students across Illinois are matched with industry experts that provide guidance during the research process. MME gives collegiate students, graduate students, and professionals the opportunity to expand their professional skills while connecting with their community. The mentorship role is designed to fit into any schedule, with an estimated time commitment of one hour per week and entirely virtual communication on the MME platform. This program allows professionals to partner with students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to work with mentors, and potentially even spark their interest in becoming future students at UChicago. Sign up to be a volunteer mentor for the 2023-24 academic year.

Relevant Disciplines: All subjects, including all STEM disciplines, Social Sciences, Humanities, Business, and more!

Inclusive Innovation Initiative

Contact: Sarah Tinsman

At a time when emerging science and technology fields are poised to foster unprecedented economic opportunity across a wide swath of sectors, the University of Chicago (UChicago), the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Illinois), Argonne National Laboratory, and Fermilab have developed a shared vision for catalyzing inclusive innovation in the sciences through increased investment in Chicago’s South Side. In 2020, the institutions formed a partnership that aims to ensure that South Side residents benefit from the economic opportunities that will stem from four scientific domains— (1) quantum information science, (2) data science and artificial intelligence, (3) energy and climate, and (5) bioengineering and medicine—which hold immense potential for scientific breakthroughs, commercialization, and job creation in the next decade. The partners will work jointly on this three-year Inclusive Innovation Initiative to activate a framework that targets STEM Education, Workforce Development and Employment, Economic Development, and Civic Infrastructure to lay the foundation for a robust ecosystem able to generate a diverse talent pipeline and spur inclusive economic growth on the historically under-resourced South Side.

Opportunities: STEM education program for students (all ages), workforce partnerships and opportunities, resource sharing, volunteers for events, curriculum development, grant proposals

Relevant disciplines: quantum, data science, artificial intelligence, bioengineering, biotechnology, climate science and clean energy

Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC)

Contact: Christin Ahn

The integration of research with education and outreach is an essential aspect of MRSEC’s mission. In order to assure the most effective use of our expertise and resources, we have developed a multi-faceted approach using activities that focus on coherent themes that address our three primary audiences: research community, our neighborhood, and the general public.

Opportunities:

MRSEC Outreach Day. Graduate students from GSPA are organizing a MRSEC Outreach Day intended for our community and UChicago. Our graduate students will lead hands-on science demos for local elementary/ middle school students and provide talks to UChicago students about the various MRSEC outreach opportunities they can get involved in. 

After-School Science Clubs. Our weekly after-school science clubs serve high-needs schools in the Chicago Public School district serving a predominantly minority and low-income student population. We worked with local teachers to identify a need in their curriculum for circuits/ robotics/ programming and designed science units to address this need. Graduate students and postdocs from UChicago help lead these Science Club sessions at Dixon and Doolittle Schools.

Field Trips. The MRSEC team hosts field trips for K-12 students throughout the school year, and visitors are invited to attend a lab tour, campus tour, and participate in hands-on science activities. Previously, we have even collaborated with the SMART Museum to showcase the intersection of art and science.

Family Science Nights. During Family Science Nights, our team of volunteers support K-12 schools in designing and running interactive science activities for students and their families. 

Modern Materials Technologies. Modern Materials Technologies is a weekly colloquium designed and taught by graduate students at Lindblom High School.

Relevant disciplines: Physical sciences, biological sciences, engineering, mathematics

Math Circles of Chicago

Contact: Doug O'Roark

Math Circles of Chicago (MC2) is the largest math enrichment program in the United States, serving over 2,200 children in grades 3–12. We introduce children to novel mathematics in a nurturing environment. We are open to all children, providing access by geographically distributing our programs across the city. All of our programs are free.

Opportunities: 1) Volunteer to assist in the UChicago YSP math circle held on Saturday afternoons in Ryerson/Eckhart Hall. 2) Be a paid assistant in one of 30 After School Programs in middle schools across the city. 3) Lead math circles at Sunshine Gospel Ministry's community center in Woodlawn, or in homeless shelters across the city. 4) Be a judge at QED, Chicago's Youth Math Symposium, held on December 9. 5) Lead an activity table at a math festival in a school or library; we expect to hold 12 such festivals this year. 6) Co-teach with others in an online math circle.

Relevant Disciplines: Math majors and non-majors who take pleasure doing math!

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, as well as community centers. 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

Research Computing Center

Contact: Holly Smith 

The Research Computing Center (RCC) is dedicated to providing the University of Chicago community a full-service high-performance computing (HPC) center, including visualization resources, access to software, workshops, one-on-one consulting with domain experts, grant support, and complete data-management strategies to researchers across all departments and divisions.

Opportunities: Two of RCC's outreach programs are Brain Awareness Day and The RCC Summer AI program. Brain Awareness Day provides an opportunity for local high school students to learn more about the brain and high-end computing. Volunteers can assist with the demos and activities. The RCC Summer AI program is a two-week, project-based program that introduces high school students to artificial intelligence with deep learning tools used by University of Chicago researchers. Volunteers for this program will assist with the project planning and mentor the high school student participants.

Relevant disciplines: all subjects

SIRIUS B

Contact: Ava Polzin

SIRIUS B (Sharing Inclusive Research Instruction for Underrepresented Students’ Benefit) is committed to *Sirius-ly* good outreach programming for traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM. We offer both in-person and remote activities to engage middle-to-high school age students with science. They are exposed to higher level research talks and lab tours, panel discussions, and conversations about the role of traditional cultural knowledge. Participating students are given the opportunity to envision themselves as scientists and understand what steps they will need to take to pursue STEM professionally. Each program is generally run across a single weekend, and, in the past, we have had ~20 volunteers (including speakers and chaperones) per weekend. More information is available at siriusb.org.

Opportunities: We plan to run in-person programming (pending funding) which will require chaperones who can monitor students and address any of their concerns during the program. We will also be conducting virtual outreach—generally over a weekend—for students not local to Chicago. For both in-person and remote programming, we look for panelists and speakers to talk about a variety of things relating to their science, their path to/through science, and, potentially, the societal aspects of science.

Relevant Disciplines: Especially astronomy/astrophysics and physics, but not strictly limited! 

Splash! Chicago

ContactGeneva Schlafly

Splash! Chicago organizes free programs for high school students featuring classes designed and taught by UChicago students. Classes span all subject areas, from black holes to the philosophy of TV. This year, we will host a one-afternoon program and a one-day program in the winter and spring, respectively. Our goal is to promote a love for both learning and teaching.

Opportunities: We have two main roles to fill: teachers and board members.

1. Teachers: Sign up to teach on a one-time basis. Teach about your research, a hobby, or anything else that you are excited to share!

2. Board members: Join us for our weekly meeting where we plan our events, reach out to high schoolers, and recruit teachers. Help create successful programs!

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

Tutoring Chicago

ContactEric Bugarin

Tutoring Chicago is a private, non-profit organization that provides free weekly tutoring to over 1,000 Chicagoland students in grades 1–10 facing economic and social barriers. The organization is entering its 58th year of service and will have a capacity to enroll close to 1,200 students and volunteers for the 2023-2024 program year!

Opportunities: Tutoring Chicago is always looking for dedicated and committed volunteers to provide weekly tutoring/mentoring support to our amazing students. Tutors are paired one-to-one with students, and provide support in a variety of different subject areas in addition to mentorship opportunities. Tutoring Chicago has a curated curriculum, weekly agendas, training, resources and the support to assure everyone becomes a great tutor, regardless of experience. Above all, we seek individuals who want to impact, inspire, and empower!

In order to meet the needs of the growing number of students, Tutoring Chicago is looking to secure more dynamic volunteer tutors, specifically at our new Southside location, located just a few minutes away from the UChicago campus. 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/remote options for the 2023-2024 program year.

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

UChicago Computational Biology Outreach (UC COMBO)

Contact: Maggie Steiner

UChicago Computational Biology Outreach (UC COMBO) organizes single and multi-day interactive workshops that both introduce students to foundational programming concepts through real-world biological problems and expose them to careers in the biomedical sciences. Our workshops feature short lectures on computational biology, guided and project-based coding sessions where students work through interactive workbooks, and talks by a diverse scientists at UChicago about their research and path to becoming a scientist. We have workshops designed for both middle and high school students and can customize to fit the needs of potential partners. Our mission is to demystify computer programming and inspire the next generation of diverse scientists by exposing students to a wide-array of career paths in computational biology.

Opportunities: We are seeking additional members for our organizing team in areas of scientific content, outreach, and communications, as well as day-of volunteers to assist with workshops.

Relevant disciplines: biological sciences, computer science, data science, statistics

University of Chicago Astronomy & Astrophysics DepartmentCosmic Microwave Background Stage 4 (CMB-S4) Collaboration, and South Pole Telescope Project 

ContactJuliet Crowell

Astronomy & Astrophysics Department Outreach

A wide range of education and outreach opportunities are available on campus and in the Chicago area. From early childhood enrichment at local preschools to lectures at libraries and community centers for older adults, department members are active in sharing the excitement of discovery with the public. Learn more.

South Pole Telescope (SPT) Outreach

The SPT First Discoveries early childhood outreach program aims to excite young students alongside teachers and encourages them to approach science as a tool for exploring and understanding their own curiosities and intuition. Read more.

CMB-S4 Outreach Mission

The CMB-S4 Collaboration is committed to a robust program of education and public outreach (EPO). The CMB-S4 EPO program engages the public, families, and K-12 students with cutting-edge science that seeks to inspire wonder and curiosity across a range of audiences. Our research attempts to answer some of the most fundamental questions in our universe. Read more.

Outreach Opportunities: We are looking for student volunteers (undergraduate and graduate) who are willing to support outreach programs for K-12 audiences, families, teachers, and adults. Many of the outreach programs include the need for volunteers to guide hands-on learning experiences and could include after school and summer programs. Other volunteer duties can include managing and growing a presence on social media (twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) by posting outreach programs and science research updates.

Relevant Disciplines: cosmology, astronomy, astrophysics, and physics

University of Chicago Biotechnology Association (UCBA)

Contact: Busayo Bolonduro

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 students and postdocs 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 regularly host speaker events, workshops, pub nights and other social gatherings open to all interested students and postdocs on campus.

Opportunities: We are always recruiting for our steering committee and for general membership. We are also interested in recruiting students to serve as committee chairs for roles focused on areas such as venture capital, entrepreneurship, pharmaceuticals, and consulting. UCBA membership helps you to meet other students/postdocs interested in biotechnology and the life sciences, develop connections with alumni, and learn more about the field. UCBA members will be added to our email listserv to receive job opportunities and networking event information. 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!

University of Chicago College and Career Readiness Programs

Contact: Laura Tharsen or Emily Cracolici

Operated through the Office of Civic Engagement, College and Career Readiness programs at the University of Chicago prepare Chicago public high school students to gain admission to, pay for, and thrive in college and excel in future careers. Programs include the Collegiate Scholars Program (CSP), the South Side College and Career Catalyst (C3) program, the Space Explorers Program and the Youth Internship Program. All of these multi-year programs include a broad range of academic and leadership development activities; college readiness resources including financial aid workshops and entrance exam preparation; college and career exploration and planning; academic advising and tutoring, as needed; enrichment on topics ranging from STEM to financial literacy; annual College Fair and the Peter and Judy Kovler Career Conference; and more.

Opportunities: During the academic year, volunteers can work with our programs by offering a workshop, panel discussion, or other enrichment program to our 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.  In the summer, faculty, OAA and graduate students teach college-level courses to high school students, and undergraduate students can serve as Pre-Collegiate Assistants. Alternatively, faculty and graduate students can also supervise a high school student intern to conduct summer research. Volunteer panelists are also needed for the Peter and Judy Kovler Career Conference in July.

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

University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center

ContactMegan 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

Organizers

Questions? Contact Jennifer Woods 

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.