Science & Engineering Professionals: Become an Expert
Thank you for your interest in the Ask an Expert volunteer program!
The Ask an Expert Program is a free online forum where students and parents can ask questions about K-12 science projects. Our team of volunteer experts work together to provide personalized assistance with students who have questions about any phase of their project, from coming up with an idea to analyzing data to displaying results at a science fair.
The Ask an Expert volunteer season runs from September-May. We begin recruiting and scheduling volunteers each August and schedule most of our volunteers for the current season between August and October. We accept applications year-round and will contact you when we begin recruiting for the next school year.
We only accept a certain number of volunteers to serve as Experts at Ask an Expert. However, there are many other ways you can donate your time and expertise to help Science Buddies! To learn more about our short-term Micro-Volunteer Program, visit www.sciencebuddies.org/volunteer.
Apply to be an Ask an Expert "Expert"If you are a Science Buddies member, please first log in so that we can access your account information and pre-populate parts of the volunteer application form.
- First-time volunteers: Complete the online application.
- Returning volunteers: Update your application.
Volunteering at Ask an Expert
The Ask an Expert forum is an online bulletin board students and parents can use to post questions related to their science projects. Our team of volunteer Experts, comprised of both adult volunteers and top high school students, work together to provide "Expert" assistance and guidance.
How it Works
- Volunteers are scheduled to check in once a week in a specific forum. On that day, the Expert will help respond to questions that appear in the forums.
- On average, Experts spend approximately 1/2 hour per week replying to student questions.
- All correspondence takes place within the Ask an Expert forums.
- In most cases, you'll answer a student's question, accept his or her thanks, and move on to another student.
Requirements for Volunteering with Ask an Expert
- Desire to foster interest in the sciences at a pivotal age.
- Wish to give back to the community in a way that doesn't take a lot of time but has high value.
- Science or engineering background by education and/or profession.
- Access to the Internet and email on a regular basis.
- Clear background screen.
- Only legal U.S. residents (e.g., U.S. citizen, work/student visa, green card) may volunteer with the Ask an Expert program, unless you are an international working with a company that has an established agreement with Science Buddies.
How to Apply
- Complete the Ask an Expert application. Applications are Web-based only. Unfortunately, other formats (e.g. email, fax, print) cannot be accepted.
- Please set aside 15 minutes to complete this application in one sitting. (Tip: Review the entire application before filling it out. If you are a Science Buddies member, first log in at the "Log In" at the upper right of this page to prefill the application form. )
- Immediately after you have submitted your application, you will see a "Thank You" page confirming that Science Buddies has received your application. If you do not see the "Thank You" page, your application did not go through, and you will need to submit it again. A confirmation email will be sent to your preferred email address.
- If you have any questions, contact Science Buddies at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In August, we will contact all interested volunteers to begin scheduling. Once a year, we ask that you review the orientation materials and accept the "pledge" for the year.
- If you are a first-time volunteer, you will be asked to set up an Ask an Expert account. (Please use the same email address for your application and your Ask an Expert account.)
- A Science Buddies staff member will follow up with you regarding next steps or scheduling considerations.
- Please note: Science Buddies does run a background check on all Ask an Expert volunteers before scheduling Experts each season.