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High School Students: Become an Expert

Amber Dave Jane Jane

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.

Science Buddies is looking for top high school science students who want to share their love of science by volunteering as Experts on our Online Ask an Expert Forums.


  • U.S. high school student, grades 9-12
  • Reliable email & Internet access
  • Minimum of one high school science class if you have previously participated in a science fair
  • Or, minimum of 2 high school science classes if no previous science fair experience
  • Strong science and math grades
  • Must successfully complete the online orientation process

Why Do It

  • You Can Make a Difference in Science Literacy!
    Many teachers are swamped, too busy even to consider encouraging their students to participate in local science fairs. Yet our society relies more on science every day. Science fairs and science projects are a great way for students to become more knowledgeable about how the world around them works. You can help to fill the gap by joining our team of smart, enterprising Experts in the Science Buddies Ask an Expert Forums. Our high school Experts draw from their science knowledge and fair experience as they review questions asked at Ask an Expert and offer feedback to help students improve the quality of their science projects. Minutes of your time can make a huge difference in improving science literacy in our community.

  • Earn Credit for Community Service & Add Distinction to Your College Application
    Top colleges are using leadership and volunteer service as key factors to distinguish among applications—the Science Buddies program provides you with both. Demonstrate how you apply your science knowledge beyond a transcript or a standardized test by mentoring someone new to the sciences. The Science Buddies program offers college-bound high school students a convenient, fun, and meaningful opportunity for performing community service. The program also offers you the option of having a long-term leadership role that can span several years.

  • Qualify for Science Buddies Scholarships and Awards
    Science Buddies awards year-end cash scholarships to "Outstanding" high school Experts. High school volunteer Experts who show true leadership qualities may qualify for these scholarships. To qualify, "Outstanding" high school Experts must distinguish themselves in the following ways and meet the following requirements:

    • Quality Responses: Outstanding high school Experts consistently offer in-depth, informative, and supportive answers in response to questions at Ask an Expert. Outstanding high school Experts offer responses that articulately answer the question(s), help guide the student(s) to better understanding of the problem(s) or project(s), and contain helpful information to further the student's understanding of the science. Outstanding high school Experts treat every question as an individual opportunity to help a student and take providing a quality and thorough reply seriously.

    • Supportive Feedback: Outstanding mentors reply to student questions with a supportive manner and an appropriate tone and level of vocabulary that takes into account the age of the student and the level of the project. All answers should be geared toward helping the student successfully complete the science project.

    • Consistent Performance: Outstanding mentors are an active part of the volunteer team at Science Buddies. They check in once a week, as scheduled and maintain a consistent level of quality answers and active involvement in the Ask an Expert forums for the scheduled year.

    • Part of the Ask an Expert Team: Outstanding mentors are aware that they are part of a group of volunteers at Science Buddies that contains both other high school Experts and adult Experts who work in science-related fields and industries. Outstanding high school Experts draw upon and ask for assistance from other Experts when necessary and contribute to ongoing conversations between students and Experts.

  • Work Alongside World Class Scientists and Engineers
    In addition to top high school science students, many talented science professionals volunteer with Science Buddies as Experts on the Ask an Expert Forums. Not only do they work with high school Experts to respond to Investigators' inquiries, but they are also available to answer your questions about your own independent research, colleges, or careers in science. Our team of volunteers has included:
    • Professors, research scientists, and graduate students from top universities such as MIT, Princeton, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and UCSF
    • A scientist who holds a PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford and was on the team that developed the Pegasus rocket
    • A theoretical and computational physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory whose recent work deals with the design and use of HIGH POWER LASERS
    • An expert in tropical ecology and conservation who studies among other things the effects of oil spills on tropical birds
    • A retired engineer who worked on the Apollo Moon Program and programmed simulators for the F16 fighter plane
    • Someone on the team that designed pressure sensors for NASA's Mars Probe
    • A researcher who was involved with the discovery of the earliest HIV Protease Inhibitor drugs (AIDS drugs)
    • Forensics experts who work for state crime labs
    • Scientists and engineers from AMD, Bio-Rad Labs, Intel, Seagate, Symantec, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory and many more high-tech companies and labs...

Here's What Past High School Students Have Said About Science Buddies

"[Science Buddies] gives you the chance to share what you have learned with someone who hasn't learned it yet. It feels as if you are helping this person along in their education."
— Melyssa, 17

"I learned the valid points of working with a team to help finish a project and I really enjoyed working with my buddy."
— Hillary, 16

"I had a great experience learning how to teach and help out younger kids. It was also fun to take part in a science fair project again since I haven't done one since 7th grade."
— Dan, 16

How It Works

Volunteering at Ask an Expert is convenient and completely online.

  • At Ask an Expert, you work with a team of science and technology professionals to handle questions posed in a traditional online bulletin board.
  • You have a scheduled day of the week that is convenient for you.
  • You log in on that day and can expect to spend approximately 1/2 hour-1 hour responding to student questions.

How to Apply

The Application Process

  1. Applications are Web-based only. Unfortunately, other formats (e.g. email, fax, print) cannot be accepted.
  2. Please set aside 15 minutes to complete this application in one sitting. (Tip: Review the entire application before filling it out.)
  3. 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 also be sent to your preferred email address.
  4. If you have any questions, contact Staff at

Thank you!