More Info for Teachers


The Graduate Student School Outreach Program (GRASSHOPR) pairs Cornell graduate students with teachers in Tompkins, Tioga, and Seneca counties to teach 3- to 5-session mini-courses.  Teachers and graduate students share the benefits of exchanging ideas as they develop a curriculum, while K-12 students experience new mentors in their classroom who are eager to share knowledge and excitement about their field of study. In this, we are pleased to offer mini-courses from across the natural and physical sciences, social sciences, and humanities for you and your students. 
The entire application process takes place online at this website. If this presents a problem for you or any teachers at your school please contact Amy Somchanhmavong at (607)-254-8072.

Mini-Course Descriptions and Classroom Implementation

Graduate students in GRASSHOPR will have developed mini-course topics related to their areas of interest and expertise by early Sept. 30, 2014, and these will be available for teachers to select starting in early October. In the past, some teachers have chosen mini-courses directly related to their curriculum, and others have utilized the mini-courses to introduce novel topics to their students. Either way, these planned topics are intentionally flexible; if you find a course that generally appeals to you, it can be adjusted to fit schoolwide objectives and/or the New York State core curriculum.
The graduate students and participating teachers collaborate to determine the specific content and progression of the mini-courses. Collaborating teachers and graduate student instructors will work together to develop a short syllabus/lesson plan outline for the mini-course, which must be submitted to the GRASSHOPR coordinating committee before teaching may begin.
The mini-courses are typically scheduled for one class per week for 3 to 5 weeks between late January and mid-June; precise scheduling will be arranged by the graduate student and teacher. The graduate students are given the option to teach multiple sections but are only required to present their mini-course to one class during the semester. If the student can only teach one class, teachers who have more than one cohort of students will need to select one of their classes to participate.
The only scheduling requirement for GRASSHOPR is that three to five unique lessons be taught by the graduate student.  They can be taught once a week for three to five weeks, or scheduled in any way that works for both the teacher and grad student.  Each of the 3 to 5 lessons will be a different unique lesson; teaching the same material to different classes only counts as one lesson of the mini-course.  

As part of their participation in the project, teachers are asked to provide support to the graduate student and to facilitate their involvement in the classroom, as some of our graduate students have no formal teaching experience in a K-12 setting. What they may lack in experience is made up for by enthusiasm to present information and to develop teaching skills.

Application Procedure

Teacher applications will be available beginning October 6 and are due on October 30, 2014.


You will be asked to rank your first, second, and third choices to maximize the chances of being successfully paired with a graduate student mini-course.  All applicants will be notified regarding the status of their applications by late December.