Adopt a Chemist

In the spirit of Web 2.0 I’ve been inspired by the SPS (Sigma Pi Sigma) Adopt a Physicist. I was wanting to do something like this except for chemists, so I’m looking for chemists who wouldnt mind being ‘adopted’ by local high school chemistry classrooms so that they can ask questions about careers, chemistry, etc. I think the Chemistry Forum might be a good way to do this, but who knows, I’m just throwing this idea out there.

Here’s what the Adopt a Physicist is…we should do the same thing…or at least try to?

Adopt-a-Physicist connects high school physics students to people with bachelors degrees or higher in physics via online discussion forums. Through their interactions, students can find out about the careers, educational backgrounds, and lives of current physicists.
Adopt-a-Physicist Goals

* Expose high school physics students to the range of careers open to people with degrees in physics.
* Advance the dialogue between the physics and the high school education communities.
* Introduce physicists and teachers to the ComPADRE network and its resources.

Project Summary

Download the Program Packet

Physicists and students interact through discussion forums for a three-week period. Before the three week period begins, the physicists and classes (via the teachers) each create a brief introduction page. After registration closes, teachers choose some physicists for their classes to interact with, preferably from different career categories.

The physicists each host a discussion forum where students dialogue with them about careers, educational level, current projects, and other topics of interest.

This structure lets students interact with physicists and learn first-hand what people with degrees in physics are doing. In addition to dialoguing with their assigned physicists, students can also read conversations between other physicists and students.

Registered teachers will receive an Adopt-a-Physicist Teacher’s Guide that provides practical suggestions for implementing Adopt-a-Physicist in the classroom and suggested student assessments.

Adopt-a-Physicist is a service provided by Sigma Pi Sigma (ΣΠΣ), the physics honor society, in collaboration with the American Physical Society (APS), the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), and ComPADRE. It is supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation and the American Physical Society Campaign for Physics. Opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of ΣΠΣ, APS, AAPT, or the supporting institutions.
The Adoption Process

* Registration: Physicists and teachers register and create a profile. This requires a ComPADRE login. ComPADRE accounts are free, require only a name and email address, and give the registrant access to all ComPADRE resources. Further information such as school/employer and contact information is required for Adopt-a-Physicist, but will not be used for any other purpose.
* Physicists Adopted: Once registration has closed, teachers can search the profiles of registered physicists (by career, research area, degree level, etc.) and sign up their classes for discussion forums. Registered teachers will be notified when it’s time to choose their physicists.
* Discussion Forums Open: Students and physicists dialogue over the three week period that the forums are open. Teachers are encouraged to monitor the discussions.
* Discussions Archived: The discussion forums close after a 3-week period; however transcripts of the conversations are archived and will remain accessible.


  1. Definitely a good idea.

  2. Hell yes, sign me up! I went back to my high school as a guest speaker last year and had a pretty awesome time with it. Would love to do more outreach, just can’t seem to find interested teachers.

  3. Then should we put up a website so we can get local high school chemistry teachers interested? I’ll ask my two friends who are high school chem teachers, they might want to sign up.

    • Yeah, check to see if the teachers would be interested. If they are interested, then I can help you put together a website for it if you want.

      • Ha! So my two friends who are teachers are interested. One of them did the teacher part for adopt a physicist and they really liked it, but now they’re teaching h.s. chem so this is perfect. Now how to get it out there to other teachers..hrmm.

  4. Good idea! If I can contribute in anyway, drop me a line. Happy to help.

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