Follow Up

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  • Most of us find the enrichment experience inspirational.  As many have said before, you do not truly understand something until you have to explain it (and even more so when the target audience is a class of 4th grade students).  You almost certainly will have learned some new ways of viewing the material you covered, and encountered some questions that you could not answer.
  • Try to solicit feedback from the teacher, and from students in higher grade levels. Don’t be surprised if you get invited back for other topics, or to return next year. Some teachers may nominate you for science club contacts, school or district-wide science committees, or other opportunities. On the other hand, don’t be too surprised if you don’t hear from the teacher, at least right away, since teachers are some of the busiest professionals. You might initiate the follow-up discussion, especially if you promised any more materials or information during your visit.
  • Don't give out your e-mail address to the students but give your e-mail address to the teacher.
  • If you ae coming back to the school for more presentations, give the students activities that they can do at home to prepare for your next visit.
  • If students ask you questions in thank you letters, send responses and follow ups to the teacher.

More than anything else, know that you have made a positive difference. The students and teachers you met gained new knowledge available only from you. They met a role model that might influence future studies and career choices. They saw how science can applied with their own hands and minds. And at least for a brief time, you were part of the inspiration and development of young minds.  We hope you enjoyed it!

A letter from an elementary student thanking a visiting scientist for coming to the classroom