Service Learning with Buffalo Public Schools

A large group of young students in lab gear stand together smiling .

While earning academic credit, students will be able to deepen and enrich the study of their chosen major, participate in study beyond the classroom, develop critical thinking skills, and learn about: urban education, mentorship, diversity, classroom management, lesson planning, counseling and much more!

Project description

Student will enroll in a seminar-style, 3-credit course (ASI400), which is open to all majors and allows UB students to work in the Buffalo Public Schools.

Students enrolled in the course will meet with Dr. Gardella on Mondays from 3:00-5:50pm and spend 4-5 hours per week at one of the 12 schools served by the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership (ISEP). Students will support K-12 classrooms through the development and implementation of hands-on science experiments. Additionally, students will develop survey and interview skills to evaluate the impact of science education programs in improving student performance and appreciation of science.

While earning academic credit, students will be able to deepen and enrich the study of their chosen major, participate in study beyond the classroom, develop critical thinking skills, and learn about: urban education, mentorship, diversity, classroom management, lesson planning, counseling and much more!

Project outcome

Students will gain 3 academic credits toward their chosen degree, but also gain valuable experience working with students from the city of Buffalo as a mentor, assistant and tutor. Throughout the course, students will complete a weekly reflective journal and use their journals and experiences to develop a final research paper, which utilizes their experiences and reflects on the state of STEM education innovations across the US and in other countries.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment  One semester
Start time Spring, Fall
Level of collaboration Small group project (2-3 students)
Benefits Academic Credit
Who is eligible Anyone
Woodrow Wilson and Fulbright Scholarships

Students participating in this project might be interested in and eligible for the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship and the Fulbright Scholarship. Connect with the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships to learn more.

Core partners

Project mentor

Joseph Gardella

SUNY Distinguished Professor of Chemistry; ISEP Director

Department of Chemistry

470 Natural Sciences Complex

Phone: (716)645-1499

Email: gardella@buffalo.edu

Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 
Fulfilling Academic Major/Minor Requirements

If you are planning to use this project to satisfy program requirements for your academic major or minor, it is your responsibility to obtain approval from your academic department prior to beginning the project. 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

  • Reviewing literature regarding Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education.
  • Familiarizing themselves with Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) and visiting the ISEP website and social media (Facebook and Twitter: @ISEPBuffalo) to familiarize themselves with the ISEP program and BPS.
  • Brainstorming ways that their major could fit into a classroom or after-school setting.