Scholarly reports and headlines in the popular press continue sounding the alarm: United States students, compared with students of other nations, perform at mediocre to abysmal levels in science and mathematics. We see evidence of this deficiency in our classrooms, work settings, and social interactions. Today's high school graduates, generally speaking, do not understand basic science concepts, have no interest in pursuing scientific careers, and have numerous misconceptions about and mistrust toward scientists and scientific institutions.

To help remedy this situation, many scientists these days are taking time to share their world--and themselves--with teachers and students from kindergarten through high school. These scientists have a variety of motives: Some simply want to provide assistance in response to a pressing need; they are expressing a concern for providing the next generation of scientists and technicians. Others are seeking a way to reciprocate for the mentoring and programs that inspired them as...

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