Science Coaches FAQs

What does a science coach do?

Often, the coaches work with the teachers on the following activities (but it’s up to you, feel free to be creative!):

      • Answer content questions from teachers and students
      • Help to plan and conduct lessons, demos, and experiments
      • Give guest lectures or presentations about their education, job, or research
      • Organize and clean stockrooms and labs
      • Organize a virtual field trip/lab tour
      • Supervise or judge science fair projects
      • Coach Chemistry Olympiad teams
      • Mentor individual or class research projects

Can retired chemists or college professors apply to be coaches?

Absolutely! Retired chemists and college professors are encouraged to apply to be coaches.

I used to work in industry, but now I am a chemistry teacher. Can I apply to be a coach?

Current chemistry teachers cannot be coaches for other teachers, but if you retire or move back into industry, you are welcome to apply to be a coach at that time.

I am a teacher and would like to participate; how can I identify potential coaches in my area? Can AACT help me find a coach?

Sure, AACT will try to help match you with a coach – however, it is usually a more successful collaboration when you come pre-matched, so you are encouraged to reach out to chemists in your area. Also, you will be paired up with someone geographically near you, so if you find someone yourself, you are not limited by the locations of the coaches who apply on their own, unmatched. People have had success finding coaches in three main ways:

      • Local industry or firms that employ chemists
      • ACS local sections (See if your local section has a website)
      • Local college/university professors or graduate students

I live overseas; can I apply to be a teacher or coach?

The science coaches program is currently only available to teachers and coaches residing in the US.

If I was in the program last year, can I apply again?

You are welcome to apply multiple years. There is not a guarantee that you will be able to participate again, but there have been a number of cases where people have participated multiple years, and you are encouraged to apply again. You do need to re-apply each year that you wish to participate in the program.

What is the link to the teacher application?

This year's application is closed. Please check back in Spring 2021 for next year's application!

What is the link to the coach application?

This year's application is closed. Please check back in Spring 2021 for next year's application!

About how many teachers and coaches apply to the program?

Hundreds of teachers and coaches apply, and each year there about 250 teacher-coach pairs who participate in the program (500 participants total).

Do most science coaches have education experience?

Most coaches do not have K–12 education experience but have expertise in their industry, and some have experience teaching in a university setting.

Are there restrictions about how I use the money? Do I have to submit receipts?

Your stipend needs to be used on improvements, equipment, supplies, activities, etc. for your science classroom, but you do not need to submit receipts.

How do I receive the stipend?

The money will be available in the form of a $500 check made out to your school or a $550 gift certificate to Flinn Scientific. You are encouraged to choose the Flinn certificate, as you will get an extra $50 for your classroom and you will have access to the funds sooner than if you choose the check.

Who can qualify as a science coach?

Most coaches are active or retired chemistry professionals or academics. Anyone who has experience, past or present, working as a chemist in an industrial or academic setting is eligible to be a science coach. Former/retired chemistry teachers are also eligible (but not current teachers).

How often does a science coach visit their teacher's classroom?

Coaches and teachers are expected to meet at least six times spread throughout the school year.

When will I be notified of a partnership?

Applications are due by September 1, and you will be notified of your partnership by October 1.

Can a coach work with their child's or grandchild's science teacher?

Absolutely, coaches are welcome to reach out to teachers, including teachers of their children/grandchildren, to apply as a coach/teacher pair.

Can college students be science coaches?

Undergraduate students are not eligible to be science coaches, but graduate students may apply to be coaches.

How much time does a teacher typically spend on the program?

It varies from pair to pair, but on average a teacher might spend about 20 hours (sometimes more, sometimes less) spread over the course of the school year working with the coach. It will depend on what kinds of goals the teacher and coach set at the beginning of the year and what types of activities the coach will be helping with.

Is there anything else I should know?

  • One coach per teacher, one teacher per coach
  • Teachers must be AACT teacher members (Join now!)
  • Teachers and coaches must reside in the USA
  • Current teachers cannot be coaches
  • Coach-teacher partners may not share finances
  • Teams must be fluent in English