Outreach Committee held a "Lab Basics" workshop where graduate students trained interested younger students how to perform fundamental laboratory techniques. This two day workshop included techniques like bacterial growth through plate streaking and colony isolation, as well as using PCR to amplify a gene of interest. The PCR results were then analyzed through gel electrophoresis. Not sure if the graduate students or the undergraduates had more fun.. The gels turned out awesome! Check out some pictures below!
Darwin Day: February 12th 2:30-4:30, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
Oututreach Committee recently hosted a booth for the annual Darwin Day celebrating Human Evolution and Entomophagy & Locomotion! We had had a fun evolution themed arcade game and our wonderful volunteers taught visiting elementary school children fun facts about evolution!
Around 15 undergraduates who will be applying for graduate school attended our Outreach seminar on how to write a powerful graduate school application. The seminar began with some delicious pizza and a powerpoint presentation given by Troy King Jr. Troy covered the basic components of the general application as well as what reviewers are typically looking for in an applicant. Later, a panel assembled of volunteers from the SciMed GRS Fellowship program give personal student insights and advice about how to compose a powerful, yet authentic application. Suggestions ranged from resume formatting, use of the active language, and encouraging humor and personality in the personal statements. Prior to the event, students were encouraged to bring their drafts of application materials such as personal statements, research statements, or resumes for the graduate students to critique and offer suggestions. It was so insightful to get to learn more about those currently applying and we hope our suggestions were well met! Good luck to each and every applicant who attended!
SciMedGRS volunteered with College Goal Wisconsin, a program where families and students get expert assistance with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We assisted by helping families through the process of applying for financial aid at LaFollete High School's computer lab.
We wish only the best for these next generation of students entering college!
On April 20th, Jennifer Gilbert, Nadia Khan, and Dee Robinson did an activity on testing for the presence of macromolecules in different foods at Jefferson Middle School. They explored the differences between lipid, carbs, and proteins and used different staining reagents to look at the presence of the molecules in foods people commonly consume on a daily basis. Additionally, the students learned the importance of maintaining a balanced diet.
On Saturday, March 4 our outreach group led a hands on workshop with high school students between the ages 13 and 17. Our purpose was to engage students in science by introducing them to topics not typically discussed in a high school science curriculum. We decided to do experiments related to Neuroscience and Renewable Energy.
In our Neuroscience activity, we had the students learn about visuo-motor plasticity using eye prism glasses. They learned how the brain can adapt to visual alterations, if given an adaptation period. In our Renewable Energy activity, we introduced students to photovoltaic cells. We wanted them to learn how light intensity can affect how much electricity a solar cell can produce.
Both our activities were hands on and fun for students, but at the same time taught them important concepts they might not get in a regular classroom setting.
Thanks to all of the volunteers for helping out!
We hope to see you all in our upcoming outreach events... Details Coming Soon!
To start off our semester of outreach activities, we had our Second Annual Financial Aid Night at LaFollete High School. This initiative started in order to connect with local underrepresented high school students in the Madison area and help them through the process of financing their college education. We had a collaborator from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Financial Aid Office, Joselyn Diaz-Valdes, present useful financial aid information to high school students and their parents. In addition to this, we had a graduate student panel where graduate students answered questions about financial aid and shared their own stories about college. The event was a success, we had great feedback and were invited back for next year!
Part of the outreach committees' objectives is to connect with underrepresented STEM undergraduates as a means to build mentoring relationships and encourage them towards a career in research. Towards this effort, on December 8, the SciMed Outreach Committee hosted a Resume Workshop for STEM undergraduate students to go through the basics of applying for a position in a research lab, and how to tailor their resume/CV for this goal. We had great discussions about resume formatting and career building skills.
We want to thank all the graduate students that attended and shared very useful advice to the undergraduates in the workshop!
On Thursday November 3, the outreach committee hosted its second event of the semester at the Marquette Elementary School Family Science Night on the east side. The event featured fall-themed science experiments. Our participation in this event was led by out elementary school coordinators, Jen Grauer and Kalyanna Williams. We had excellent SciMed-GRS participation and the experiments were a hit!
Thank you very much to Ashley Cortes, Amarilys Gonzalez, Jonas Rodriguez and Whitney Stevens for participating.
On October 17th, Jasenia Hartman, Miguel Angel Osorio Garcia, Benjamin Sanchez-Sedillo, and Dee Robinson did an outreach event with the Centro Hispano program at Sherman Middle School. Their activity focused on the importance of DNA and how scientist are able to extract DNA from cells. The students extracted DNA from wheat germ using basic household products and were able to visualize the DNA at the end of the activity.
In addition to the science activity, each SciMed volunteer shared their background and how they ended up choosing a career in science. They discussed common misconceptions about college and discussed what options are available for underrepresented students.
Centro Hispano has a variety of programs for adults and children of our local Latino community. Their mission statement is the following:
"Through our youth programs, Centro Hispano hopes to create a better life for young Latinos and in doing so, better the future of the Latino community of Madison."
Check our their website for more information: