Science Ambassadors

The Oregon National Primate Research Center is home to the Science Ambassadors, a group of 20 high school students recruited from Portland metro-area high schools to act as mentors for 16 fifth graders (“mentees”) each year.

The Science Ambassadors program is designed to expose both the high school mentors and the fifth grade students to science through hands-on activities. Through this program we hope to inspire students to continue to study science throughout high school and perhaps choose to pursue careers in science. High school Science Ambassador Mentors gain valuable organizational and social skills, in addition to learning about cutting-edge biomedical science on the campus of a world-class research facility.

High school mentors are expected to attend weekly meetings (held on Wednesdays, from 4-6 p.m.). All meetings are held at the Primate Center. Each month, mentors hear from a Center scientist about his/her work. Other meetings are dedicated to planning and implementing both hands-on science activities and social interaction activities for the 5th graders.

In addition to planning monthly activities for the fifth grader “mentees,” high school mentors are expected to maintain an e-mail/telephone/US mail relationship with their assigned student and his/her parents, sending reminders about meetings, and checking in occasionally to be sure that the student is enjoying the program.

Four students are selected by their peers to serve as Student Directors each year. These students assume additional duties, including work outside of the regular meeting times. All Science Ambassador mentors must be responsible and highly motivated. (High school student mentor commitment is for a minimum of one school year.)

Each fall, high school-aged students are invited to apply to become mentors. Contact Diana Gordon at or 503 346-5055 for more information or application materials. High School "Mentor" applications for the 2018-2019 school year are due by October 23, 2018 by 11:59 p.m.  Fifth Grade "Mentee" applications are due by October 30, 2018 by 11:59 p.m.  Updated application materials are uploaded to this site in September of each year.  

2018-2019 Meeting Schedule

High School Application Materials:

5th Grader Application Materials: