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Administrative Manual - 600 Outreach Programs

601 Science Education

    In partnership with the local school divisions and the surrounding community, Jefferson Lab is dedicated to providing development opportunities in math and science to students, teachers, parents, and the general public. Each year, about 10,000 students and 750 teachers participate in a variety of science programs and interact with Jefferson Lab scientists and engineers who share their knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm.

    Jefferson Lab’s goals in science education are to:
    a. Develop local and state partnerships to advance math and science education;
    b. Improve K-12 instruction by enhancing teachers’ content knowledge; and
    c. Immerse undergraduate and high school students in a world-class facility research environment to prepare the next generation of leaders.

    Safety and effectiveness take priority in Jefferson Lab’s K-12 educational activities. Thus, the program planning and conduct:
    a. Assures the safety of visitors (program participants), staff, and equipment;
    b. Meets the "audience" at its level and connects with its knowledge, experience, and interest; conveys enthusiasm and excitement;
    c. Simplifies and models (conceptually or physically) without distorting to the point of being wrong (invalid);
    d. Emphasizes thought processes, critical thinking, problem solving, reasoning approaches, and concepts over "facts";
    e. Makes the audience work and participate significantly (at least mentally) in the activity; and
    f. Strives for excellence.

    Knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff members and users are Jefferson Lab’s major educational asset. Associate Directors encourage staff in their divisions to participate in the educational programs on a volunteer basis, as their talents, knowledge, experience, and interests dictate. Staff contributions to Jefferson Lab’s K-12 educational program are acknowledged in their performance appraisal process. The Science Education Group coordinates, assists, and develops activities of 30 to 90 minutes in duration that are used by these "volunteers". Jefferson Lab staff also serve as mentors for high school students, teachers, and teams of teachers. For these people, educational outreach might be 1% to 2% of their activities, but it cannot delay or compromise their main programmatic or administrative responsibilities. Supervisors are kept aware of their staff’s educational activities and commitments are managed to prevent adverse impact on the primary activities. The Science Education Group maintains an up-to-date database of interested education volunteers. To be placed in the database, email

    Staff "volunteering" for education activities at the 1% to 10% level shall charge their time against their normal account codes. Staff devoting 10% or more of their annual effort to K-12 educational activities shall be provided with education account codes.

    To ensure that Jefferson Lab’s educational programs are responsible and strive for excellence, several quality assurance measures have been implemented. These measures include clear communication to establish expectations prior to the activity, trials and dry runs of student hands-on activities, and formal and informal evaluation of each activity (form/questionnaire).

    JLab Science Activities for Teachers (JSAT)
    JSAT, a JSA-funded initiative, allows 5th, 6th, and 8th grade teachers to spend 4 hours per month, on two different evenings, at Jefferson Lab. Each two-hour session includes a JLab- related activity, project, and/or lecture - teachers are given the materials necessary to implement new strategies into their classrooms. In addition, each session covers material that will be taught in the teachers’ classroom in the current nine-weeks grading period. At the conclusion of the program, each teacher receives 32 recertification points to be applied to their Virginia Teaching License renewal. Sixty upper elementary and middle school teachers participate annually. Go to this website for more information:

    Becoming Enthusiastic About Math and Science (BEAMS)
    The BEAMS program is a partnership involving Jefferson Lab and Newport News City Public Schools that supports inner-city students as they progress from the 5th to the 6th and 8th grades. These students and their teachers visit Jefferson Lab for periods of two to five days for science and math activities conducted by the Lab’s scientists, engineers, and technicians. The program’s goals are to increase the representation of minorities and women in the science and engineering workforce, to motivate students and strengthen their academic preparation, and to provide teachers with classroom activities based on JLab science and technology. More than 1,200 students are involved in the program each year. Go to this website for more information:

    High School Summer Honors Program
    Jefferson Lab’s High School Summer Honors Program offers work experience in physics and engineering under the guidance of a JLab mentor to the highest achieving high school students in the Hampton Roads area. Students present a summary of their projects to their peers and to the Lab’s scientific community at a well-attended Lab-wide poster session during the final week of the program. Ten students participate each summer. Students must be at least 16 years old by the start date of the internship and may only be at Jefferson Lab Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Students may not be on site any other time, including holidays, weekends, or shutdown days. Go to this website for more information:

    U.S. Department of Energy Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI)
    The SULI program supports the advancement of undergraduate students interested in careers in scientific and engineering fields. Each year, students are selected from a competitive, nationwide pool and work with scientists or engineers for ten weeks on projects related to Jefferson Lab’s research program. SULI prepares students to pursue professional careers and graduate school opportunities as they become part of the Lab’s research environment and establish long-term research relationships with JLab scientists and engineers. Sixteen students participate each summer. Go to this website for more information:

    Physics Fest
    In order to expose as many classes as possible to the science at Jefferson Lab, at least ten days during the school year are set aside for groups of students to attend a presentation in Jefferson Lab’s auditorium. This two-hour presentation includes a brief interactive summary of the science and technology at Jefferson Lab followed by the Deep Freeze (cryogenics) and Hot Stuff (plasmas) presentations. More that 4500 students attend the Lab’s Physics Fests each year. Go to this website for more information:

    Jefferson Lab Science Series
    The Science Series seminars are presented to the general public by scientists and engineers who are gifted at making science not only informative, but fun. The topics are aimed at sixth through twelfth graders and include the science of forgery, comic book physics, dinosaurs and extinction and the world of chemistry, to name a few. Go to this website for more information:

    Virginia Regional Science Bowls
    The National Science Bowl® is a tournament-style competition covering science, math, and computer science topics for teams of middle and high school students across the Commonwealth. 200 middle and high school students participated in FY 2012. Each winning regional team competes in the National Science Bowl, which has been sponsored by the Department of Energy since 1991. Go to this website for more information:

    Jefferson Lab High School Honors Mentorship Program (HSHMP)
    A limited number of unpaid mentorships for high school students are occasionally available at Jefferson Lab. Note: All mentorships for dependents of JSA/JLab employees must be approved by the Human Resources Director and the Associate Director of the division in which the student will be mentored (Administrative Manual 203.07). Students must be at least 16 years old by the start date of the mentorship, be in good academic standing, and maintain at least a 3.3 grade point average. Students who are selected to participate are chosen on the basis of demonstrated skills and merit. Participants in the HSHMP may only be at Jefferson Lab Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Students may not be on site any other time, including holidays, weekends, or shutdown days. Go to this website for additional criteria, guidelines, and more information:

    Note: ALL high school students must be participants of the High School Summer Honors Program or the Jefferson Lab High School Honors Mentorship Program in order to be at Jefferson Lab for more than one day. No students under the age of 16 years may at Jefferson Lab without a teacher or guardian.

    To ensure that every high school and undergraduate student knows and understands site safety and security requirements at Jefferson Lab, high school and undergraduate students must complete safety and security training courses before they obtain a JLab identification badge and begin their mentored scientific experience with their sponsor.

    Students must complete the following training courses prior to engaging in mentored activities:
    • SAF 100 - General ES&H Orientation
    • GEN 034 - Security Awareness Training
    • SAF 103 - Oxygen Deficiency Hazards
    • SAF 127 - Environmental Management System (EMS) Awareness
    • SAF 800 or SAF 801 - General Employee Radiological Training (GERT) or Radiological Worker
    • SAF 099 - Student Safety Training (not available online - email to schedule a class)

    Note: this is the minimum training required for students - individual mentors or lab divisions may add additional training based on the scope-of-work. Go to this website for additional information:

    Lab staff sponsoring high school and undergraduate students will ensure that each student submits a JLab Registration Form ( through the JR/IS system at least two weeks prior to his or her arrival on site. The sponsor for each student will complete the following information before concurring the student’s registration record:
    • Determination of Age-appropriate Work
    • Detailed Scope of Work
    • Proposed Safety Training for the Scope of Work (over and above the list above)
    • Proposed Work Space

    After sponsor concurrence of the student registration, ESH&Q will receive an email to review the safety aspects of the proposed scope of work and concur or provide feedback that the planned safety training is adequate.

    All student sponsors/mentors/supervisors are required to:
    • Ensure that high school and undergraduate students under their supervision are trained to recognize and mitigate any hazards that they may reasonably be expected to encounter during their visit;
    • Monitor activities for safe operation and take action to enforce safety rules;
    • Stop work processes involving imminent hazards to personnel or the environment when discovered and notify upper management;
    • Ensure that high school and undergraduate students report occupational injuries and illnesses to Occupations Medicine at the earliest opportunity;
    • Encourage reporting of ES&H concerns and respond promptly;
    • Investigate all incidents and take actions to prevent recurrence; and
    • Ensure that high school and undergraduate students are aware of the JSA/Jefferson Lab resolution process for any ES&H concern.

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