A demonstration of the “National Press Club approach” to a classroom interview.


The goal of this lesson is teach students to formulate good questions, rank their questions in terms of importance, conduct an interview, listen to answers and understand the value of follow-up queries.  An added goal is to model how to ask questions of professionals.


The model interview with University of Missouri-St. Louis psychology professor Dr. Robert Paul took place on July 23, 2010. The interviewer is Dr. Alan Newman, a co-PI on the SciJourn project.

The questions asked were generated by the teachers in the 2010 SciJourn summer professional development program.  The teachers researched Dr. Paul on the web the night before the interview. The day of the interview, they formed 3- or 4-person teams to formulate questions based on the research and then rank order the questions in terms of importance. The resultant questions were written done by a designated scribe and then given to Newman, who either asked the question as written or in some cases combined the question from two groups into one.

national press club interview lesson


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