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From the Outside Looking In

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Science  16 Jul 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5989, pp. 270-273
DOI: 10.1126/science.329.5989.270-a

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Initiatives to get scientists into the classroom assume that school systems are eager and able to make use of offers of outside help. But is it that simple? To find out, Science examined some of those collaborative activities within the D.C. public school system. Without exception, the outsiders say they welcome the chance to support their local schools. But effective partnerships require a lot more than good intentions and eager volunteers. They also hinge on how much time teachers spend on science, their knowledge of the subject, and the institutional support they receive. What the volunteers bring to the table matters, too.