Science Coaches FAQs


What does a science coach do? 

Coaches often work with the teachers on projects throughout the school year. Below are some examples. However, 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
  • Serve as an after school club advisor (such as ACS ChemClub, science club, robotics team, etc.)
  • Mentor individual or class research projects

Eligibility & Requirements

Can retired chemists or college professors apply to be coaches? 

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

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. If you retire or move into another job, you are welcome to apply to be a coach at that time. 

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).

Can college students be science coaches? 

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

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 reapply? 

You are welcome to reapply each year, though you are not guaranteed participation. You do need to re-apply each year that you wish to participate in the program. 

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.

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.

Can I meet with my partner virtually?

As with last year and due to the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are allowing Science Coaches meetings to be held virtually for the 2022-2023 school year. You should follow the local guidelines and restrictions and do what is best for you and your partner. See last year's news post.

Application Questions

What is the link to the teacher application? 

The 2022-2023 application is closed. Check back in April 2023 for the 2023-2024 school year!

What is the link to the coach application? 

The 2022-2023 application is closed. Check back in April 2023 for the 2023-2024 school year!

I am a teacher and would like to participate, 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.

How can I identify potential coaches in my area?

People have had success finding coaches in the following three main ways. (Note: you will be paired with a Coach that is geographically close to you.)

  • 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

When will I be notified of a partnership? 

Important Dates

  • Phase 1: The application will open in early April. Applications received by June 1 will be reviewed and selected partnerships will be notified in July.
  • Phase 2: The final application deadline is September 1. If you are not matched in Phase 1, or if you apply after June 1, we will review your application and will notify you of your status by October 2.
  • Note: Applicants are not guaranteed program participation.

This program has a two-phase application and program acceptance timeline. Other than being able to start your partnership earlier in the year, there is no difference, whether you are notified in Phase 1 or Phase 2, to program benefits or requirements. All successful teacher applicants, regardless of when they receive notification, will receive their $550 Flinn Scientific gift certificate in December.

NOTE: The 2022-2023 application has closed -- check back in April 2023 for the 2023-2024 school year!

Approximately how many teachers and coaches apply to the program each year? 

Hundreds of teachers and coaches apply. Each year, there about 250 teacher-coach pairs (500 participants total). 

Program Funds

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? 

You will receive a $550 gift certificate to Flinn Scientific. For the 2022-2023 participants, it will be emailed to the email address you used in your application in December 2022, and it will expire June 30, 2023. You can place an order as soon as you receive your gift certificate by contacting the customer service team at Flinn Scientific via phone or email. The gift certificate can be used in multiple transactions and does not have to be used all at once.


Do most science coaches have education experience?

Most coaches do not have K-12 education experience. They have expertise in their industry and/or experience teaching in a college/university setting.

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

On average, a teacher and coach might spend about 20 hours working together over the course of the school year. It depends on the goals and types of activities the teacher and coach want to work on.

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 US
  • Current teachers cannot be coaches
  • Undergraduate students cannot be coaches
  • Coach-teacher partners may not share finances
  • Pairs must be fluent in English

Have more questions? Email us!