BIO Links

About BIO Links at Rutgers University School of Graduate Studies

The Molecular Biosciences Links to Teaching K-12 Outreach Program

Launched in the spring of 2007, the BIO Links program provides School of Graduate Studies graduate students and Rutgers postdoctoral fellows the opportunity to volunteer their time in local public schools teaching science. We currently volunteer at New Brunswick Middle School and New Brunswick High School.

BIO Links is a partnership between Rutgers graduate students and postdocs, and science teachers at local public schools. Our dedicated volunteers are paired with a science teacher within a local school, and they make a commitment to visit one class per week for nine weeks. Some past volunteers have decided to continue visiting the classrooms well beyond the nine-week commitment.

  • Help students with laboratory assignments & lesson activities
  • Work with students in understanding scientific concepts
  • Make a presentation about their own research to the students
  • Lead a discussion with public school students about college life and careers in science
  • Bring teachers and students into university laboratories and allow them to witness first-hand the scientific research at the graduate level
  • Prepare class lectures and/or activities on topics being discussed in class

BioLinks group

What is the role of a volunteer?

Once paired with a science teacher, volunteers are expected to visit at least one class per week for nine weeks. BIO Links volunteers enter the classroom with the goal of supporting the science teachers, while also helping to educate the local students about careers in science. While in the classroom, graduate students and postdocs have the opportunity to enhance their communication skills by learning from successful members of the teaching community.

What Others Are Saying About BIO Links



What did you learn from your BIO Links volunteer?  Why do people become scientists?
"Atoms are everything!" "To find out the secrets of everything."
"How to explain and solve problems easier and faster." "To try to improve life, and the environment where we live."
"They spend a lot of time in the laboratory, not in a classroom."  
"It can take ten years to complete research."  



Public School Teachers Say:
"The student volunteer did not have to be asked twice to participate. She also volunteered to assist and bring a presentation."
"The volunteers helped a lot during labs when a second pair of hands really helps."
"The student volunteer was charming, positive, respectful, and eager to share her knowledge."



What Our Graduate Student Volunteers Say About  BIO Links:
"I definitely enjoyed the students and their amazement in this field of science that they had never been exposed to... It actually made me excited once again about science."
"I got to teach a lecture related to my field, as well as present my research to the class."
"I really recommend this experience to people interested in a teaching career."
"I liked the interaction with the students the most. There were quite a few times when they would ask me questions that they seemed reluctant to ask the teacher.

For More Information:

Please contact Dr. Martha Soto for more information on BIO Links.

Martha Soto, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Department of Pathology
Research Tower - R232
675 Hoes Lane
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Office: 732-235-4424 Lab: 732-235-4798