Retirees Enhancing Science Education through Experiments and Demonstrations

Since 1991 the RE-SEED program at Northeastern University has trained over 750 retired scientists and engineers in fourteen states to assist K-12 science teachers in the classroom. Today there are over sixty volunteers assisting science teachers in the greater Boston area. After taking part in a comprehensive training program, participants are asked to assist in science classrooms one day a week for one school year (there is no obligation to continue and volunteers may select their assignment). Most volunteers serve over three years (the retention rate is seventy percent), and are very satisfied with the experience (see survey results for details).

Teachers and Principals: Request RE-SEED Support for 2015-2016 Here

Retired* Engineers and Scientists – Sign Up for 2015 Info Session/Training Here

Info Session: September 2016

Training Program: September/October 2016

The RE-SEED Program is part of the Center for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Education at Northeastern University. Other programs of the STEM Center focus on science teacher training and student programs in science learning.

Please contact Ellen Schwartz at, or check out our one-page RE-SEED Flyer if you are interested in learning more about the RE-SEED program.


materialsThe RE-SEED program at Northeastern University seeks to improve student outcomes in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by placing trained retired volunteer scientists, engineers and other STEM professionals in K-12 science classrooms. Since 1991 the program has trained over 750 retired scientists and engineers in fourteen states to assist science teachers in the classroom, delivering over 800,000 hours of classroom assistance at a cost of less than $5 per hour. Surveys have established the high acceptance of the program and belief in its effectiveness among volunteers, teachers and students. After completing a comprehensive free training program, participants volunteer to serve in a classroom once a week for one school year. Most volunteers serve over three years (the retention rate is seventy percent). RE-SEED volunteers work closely with the host science teachers to help them enrich and implement their school curriculum.

  • We give priority to underserved and underperforming schools.
  • We focus on the middle school years (6-8) which are critical for student preparation in pursuing STEM-related fields.
  • We serve all schools, public and private, religious and secular, without discrimination.
  • We train our volunteers in research based STEM pedagogy before they serve in the classroom.
  • We promote strong collaboration with teachers to maximize student STEM learning


  • Activity/inquiry-based program that stresses critical thinking
  • Focuses on the physical sciences
  • Integrates Mathematics and Science
  • Combines content with up-to-date pedagogy
  • Aligned with the Massachusetts Mathematics, Science & Technology Frameworks, the National Science Standards, and the MCAS test


  • Increase students’ interest in science
  • Expand teachers understanding of the physical sciences
  • Make science relevant to students by bringing real-life science into the classroom
  • Increase students’ and teachers’ understanding of scientific principles and concepts
  • Assist students with science projects and science fairs
  • Make and bring science equipment to school
  • Mentor students and act as role models


  • “I would like to thank you personally for all of your kindness, generosity and other support that you have given me and the grade 7 & 8 students at the [school]. My students have been profoundly touched by your presence. I am so pleased that I have been a participant in the RESEED program since it`s inception. I sincerely hope that we can continue our work together.”  – Middle School Teacher, June 2013
  • “Before the 6th grade went down to see you, I had some doubt. I really dislike science. After you were done, I was in shock and began to enjoy science by the minute. For the whole week, I told everyone, everything I knew about magnetism. Thanks to you I am now enjoying science and getting better grades. Please come again soon! My whole class loves you.” – 6th Grade Student
  • “I told my wife, this (RE-SEED) was the second best thing I’ve done in my life.” – RE-SEED Volunteer

  *You don’t actually need to be fully retired to participate in this program.  Most all of the citizens that do RE-SEED are of retirement age, but still own and operate businesses, do other volunteer work, consult for their industry, or all of the above!