Contact Ratna Karatgi (karatgi2(at)illinois.edu) if you’d like to help with these:

  • Urbana Free Library Events: Do you have an online class you’d love to share with the community? Check out our latest event as an example: https://www.urbanaillinois.us/node/9934
  • Yankee Ridge Elementary School Scientist Day: Educational displays on your research or other scientific topics for elementary aged children. More details coming soon.
  • Boneyard Creek Community Day: Creek clean up and educational displays at Scott Park. Come help show local folks the diversity of aquatic life!

Community Outreach

  • X-Time: X-plore Stations. X-time is a local organization run by high schooler Sophia Libman. It aims to provide children with educational materials on a wide range of topics. X-Time is excited to announce the opening of its first X-PLORE station, a free-standing structure that houses activities to take home and explore. They would love help creating educational stations, activities, and displays!
  • Champaign County Forest Preserve has opened a couple of their interpretive centers for anyone looking to get some volunteer action. They have opportunities to work with school groups, public programs, and museum tours and collections. Upcoming Spring 2022 events include: invasive plant removals and native seed harvesting.
  • Urbana Park District runs school programs that rely on volunteers to lead nature activities and encourage appreciation of the outdoors.
  • Upper Sangamon River Conservancy: River watch citizen scientist training, invasive mussel removals, river clean ups. Starting in April!

Community Volunteering

  • Don Moyers Boys and Girls Club: After school club where you can mentor children in homework, arts, sports, and other topics.
  • Champaign Urbana School’s Mentoring Program: positively impacting the lives of Champaign-Urbana students by pairing them with adult mentors to provide support, encouragement, and guidance.
  • Project READ is looking for new volunteers to help tutor with basic reading, basic math, or English as a second language. Introduction sessions and tutoring opportunities are currently being run via Zoom.
  • Local charities combating food insecurity including Eastern Illinois Foodbank and Daily Bread Soup Kitchen.
  • We CU: We CU empowers students to make a positive impact in the community while building their resume and enriching their university experience. We CU honors students for their community-based work and provides them with training, connection to like-minded peers, access to service opportunities with partner organizations, and support from We CU program leaders.
  • Volunteer Illini: a student-run, student-staffed volunteer organization committed to peace, unity, and change.
  • United Way of Champaign: Working with a diverse group of community partners, they promote giving, advocating and volunteering to advance the common good in Champaign County.

Online Opportunities

  • EEB Mentor Match: EEB Mentor Match is designed to help students in minoritized groups gain admission to, and fellowships for, grad school. Opens June-July.
  • Graduate Student Mentorship Initiative: They aim to help underrepresented graduate school applicants by pairing them with STEM professionals in their respective STEM disciplines. Mentor applications open mid-June.
  • Skype a Scientist connects scientists with students and the public to engage in real life work. They run livestream events that allow public Q&A forums, making everyday science more accessible.
  • Letters to a pre-scientist: Letters to a Pre-Scientist connects students to STEM professionals through snail mail to broaden students ’ awareness of what STEM professionals look like and do at work and inspire all students to explore a future in STEM.
  • Sci Fund is offering free, online, self-guided classes to improve scientific outreach skills, including social media presence, video storytelling, and creating academic posters.
  • Anyone who is currently working with children and needs assistance explaining the intricacies of Covid19, ACM has provided a list of resources