Simple. Our graduate students recognize that many students, teachers and families have very limited opportunities to see science in action and meet researchers from all sorts of backgrounds. We strive to level the “playing field” by promoting gender equality and bringing scientific awareness to individuals from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. By fostering these values, our students have the capacity to increase scientific knowledge while developing a social conscience that can result in a more inclusive scientific community.
Current outreach initiatives focus on building a connection between the natural world and classrooms by introducing science to children and young adults in the Chicago area. Students leave having a general understanding of fundamental scientific concepts, and how to use scientific method to approach problems critically. Furthermore, young students leave with a sense of scientific engagement so that they, too, can become a part of the social effort to create a more inclusive scientific community.
WHO CAN GET INVOLVED?
You can! All students are encouraged to get involved in outreach initiatives that can broaden participation in science. Check out the featured programs below.
Science Workshops are brought to students (3rd to 8th grade) enrolled in the Universidad Popular Youth Program in Little Village, a neighborhood in Chicago. Students in the program receive monthly one-hour workshops that cover topics ranging from microbes and their role in ecosystems, lichens and their use as bioindicators, bird biodiversity in urban ecosystems, food webs and energy cycles, and embryonic development in zebrafish. These workshops were initiated by graduate students in the Multicultural Graduate Community at the University of Chicago, but all students across the university are welcome to lead a workshop.
The ultimate goal of the Science Workshops program is to improve students’ academic performance and enrich their academic experience.
Contact: Sophia Carryl - firstname.lastname@example.org
Kipling Elementary School Outreach day occurs every Spring quarter. University of Chicago graduate students host lab tours and scientific demonstrations for selected 4th and 5th graders from Rudyard Kipling Elementary School. Graduate students have previously showcased research incorporating 3D reconstructions of fossils, shark development, and diabetes. Visiting students also participate in experimental techniques such as PCR, and DNA isolation.
Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) is a one-day symposium held during the spring break for middle-school girls. EYH shows them the exciting and diverse experiences that science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers have to offer.
At the symposium, the girls can pick from a series of hands-on workshops to attend, including topics such as food science, biomedical engineering, and particle physics. The workshops are led by female professionals from a wide variety of STEM careers, including Committee on Evolutionary Biology graduate students!
This event is organized by graduate and undergraduate students from University of Chicago, University of Illinois-Chicago and other universities in the Chicago area, as well as other STEM professionals. Check out the EYH Chicago website for more information.