Caltech Classroom Connection
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Caltech volunteers making a difference in local K-12 classrooms


Caltech Outreach Brings Scientists Into Local Classrooms
Holding a vibrating tuning fork close to the lip of a PVC pipe, high school junior Kelsey Peterson bends close, suddenly saying, "I hear it!" She is trying to find the speed of sound indirectly, using her own measurements and a chain of logic she must forge for herself. She has learned that, as in a pipe organ, the cavity of her PVC pipe is an acoustic resonator, and the change in volume she hears tells her that it has reached the right length to resonate at the tuning fork's frequency. Read more...


Now in its fifth year, the Caltech Classroom Connection (CCC) is a program which pairs Caltech volunteers with local pre-college educators. The volunteers contribute their time, knowledge, and energy directly in classrooms to increase precollege student understanding, appreciation, and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The mission of the CCC is to create sustainable, mutually beneficial partnerships between Caltech volunteers and local educators.

Each teacher is paired with one or more volunteers, each of whom agrees to assist each week in the teacher’s classroom for a one to two hour period and to give an additional hour of preparation time outside of the classroom. Each teacher-volunteer pair determines for itself the exact role of the volunteer in the classroom such that each partnership is mutually beneficial. Previous volunteers have assisted teachers with labs, group work, and class discussions, as well as developed projects, labs, lectures, and demonstrations. They have also given presentations on their research, shared their experiences as scientists and served as local science fair judges.

We are looking for enthusiastic Pasadena-area teachers and members of the Caltech community who would like to dedicate their time and energy. If you would like to participate, more information is listed in the prospective participant section. If you would like to find out more about the Caltech Classroom Connection, please contact us.

Generous funding provided by Howard Hughes Medical Institute,
Moore Hufstedler Funds, The Mattel Children's Foundation and The National Science Foundation

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