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Northeastern's RE-SEED program trains retirees to become science mentors in public schools. Here, volunteers measure the volume and density of air within a soccer ball. From left, Joyce McNeil; Larry McGrail; Charles Killian, E'53; program director Christos Zahopoulos, MS'79, PHD'85; Edward Moscaritolo, E'71; Jagannathan Ravi; and William Jordan.

Retired Alumni Bring Expertise to Public Classrooms

Northeastern's RE-SEED program (Retirees Enhancing Science Education through Experiments and Demonstrations) is an important example of Northeastern's commitment to fostering educational outreach to local communities, a key priority of the Leadership Campaign.

"RE-SEED is a wonderful example of Northeastern's efforts to reach out to
the urban community.
By training and connecting retired experts with classroom teachers,
the program is enhancing
public education."

RE-SEED trains retired engineers, scientists, mathematicians, and doctors to become volunteers who help middle-school teachers provide interesting and engaging science education to sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders.

The program was established in 1991 with support from the National Science Foundation and the Noyce Foundation.

Volunteers, most of whom train for forty hours at Northeastern, bring their expertise to local public-school classrooms every week during the academic year.

"RE-SEED is a wonderful example of Northeastern's efforts to reach out to the urban community.

"By training and connecting retired experts with classroom teachers, the program is enhancing public education," says director Christos Zahopoulos, MS'79, PHD'85, a principal scientist at Northeastern's center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems.

The program is so popular among students, teachers, and volunteers that RE-SEED is expanding across the state and the nation through collaborations with other universities and institutions.

RE-SEED volunteers bring to the classroom a wealth of talent, experience, and enthusiasm that helps enliven science education. To date, more than four hundred volunteers in one hundred communities throughout the nation have dedicated their time to the program.

"I have had a good life, and it's time for me to give back. These kids are great, and the program is especially enriching for me," says retired engineer Charles Killian, E'53, who helps with RE-SEED training sessions and also serves as a volunteer at the Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

Much of the program's success can be attributed to the dedication of Edward Colbert, a friend of the university who has led efforts to raise $650,000 for the RE-SEED program.

"RE-SEED is enhancing the overall educational experience in our public school and helping to reverse the trend of students increasingly uninterested in the sciences. I am an enormous believer in this program," says Colbert, retired founder and chairman of Data Instruments in Acton, Massachusetts.

Colbert recruited John Keane and Ray Stata, fellow high-tech executives, to join him as the program's primary donors. All three have renewed their generous support through the $200 million Leadership Campaign.

Keane is the founder and chairman of Keane Incorporated in Boston, and Stata is the cofounder and chairman of Analog Devices in Norwood, Massachusetts.

"This is one of the premier programs of its kind in the nation," says Stata. "This worthy investment today will have a far-reaching impact on students and teachers in the future."

Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems
  This article was printed in the May 2003 issue of the Northeastern University Magazine.          

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