For the Love of Science
A quick walk through campus will show you numerous flyers from our several hundred student-led organizations inviting students to attend events or recruiting new members. Community service organizations definitely make up a large proportion of the organizations we have here. One that I’ve been involved with for the past two semesters is Vanderbilt Student Volunteers for Science (VSVS).
VSVS is an organization that helps spread the love of science to elementary and middle school students in the larger Nashville community. While this initially looks like a philanthropic opportunity for science geeks, fear not! All you need to have is the willingness to serve younger students–the science stuff comes straight from the manual.
I’ve only participated in VSVS this past year, and it’s been a lot of fun! Volunteers go in groups of 4-5 people and teach a basic lesson to the young students, go through fun experiments with them, and answer any questions they may have along the way. It’s not a major time commitment–just 1 hour a week for half of the semester. I volunteered with 7th grade students last semester and 5th grade students this semester. Let me just say: 2 years makes a world of difference in increasing the attention span of a student.
Some of the experiments we’ve done are fun and interactive ways to help students appreciate the challenging science subjects more. For the 5th grade class, we even did an extremely simplified version of an experiment I performed for my freshman year general chemistry lab experiment here at Vandy involving the iron found in cereal!
This is just one tiny example of the ways students on campus can be involved in an organization on campus–whether its within their norm of interests or not! The cool thing about having hundreds of organizations to choose from is that students really can shop around to see what works best for them.