The DANGER of Plastics!!!
Okay. So. Several of us got together and made a SUPER HERO video about the danger of plastics to show at the Radford University Scholarly Outreach and Research Education (ScORE) film festival. It was a lot of fun but too embarrassing to just post here. It was so much fun to see all the videos that people made to show their science! My good buddy Dan Metz has some great videos too. I'll link to that. Below is a short video by Will Dowd at Radford University's own Selu conservancy.
As March is Women's History month, Radford University hosted a special Women in Science presentation and panel that discussed the challenges women face as we take on STEM careers. I was invited to be part of the student panel.
Hearing other women's stories and challenges and solutions was a very inspiring experience. It was very positive and constructive to not only discuss challenges, but also solutions. I feel it was also a great opportunity to expand my support network of other women in science who have already navigated the field.
This past fall as part of the Ecophysiology Club, I attended the Virginia Science Festivals in Blacksburg, VA and Roanoke, VA with the hopes of inspiring young scientists. Our table outlined one of the research projects taking place at Radford University using royal jelly on Madagascar hissing cockroaches. It was a great deal of fun showing the kids the roaches and the science behind what we were doing. It was also great practice to explain things in a way they could not only understand but enjoy. It was the first year of hopefully many that RU will be attending the VA Science festival.
As a kid I was always interested in science, but often felt that concepts were oversimplified or never explained. Going to the Science and History Museum growing up was always fun and hands on, and though I remember many of the activities, I never understood how they worked. So coming into the Science Festival, I made it my personal goal to try and not only show the kids cool bugs, but to also share some of the science (I admit the roaches were a good hook). I found it most difficult to not only simplify the concepts, but to say it in a concise enough way that you kept the children's attention. There was a lot of stimulus and it was easy for the kids to jump from one presentation to another, so we had to grab them quick.
Scholar's Day is an event hosted by Radford University for the top percentage of accepted students. I was an invited speaker and panelist to display some of the High Impact Practices taking place at Radford University.
It was an honor to be asked to speak about my research and SCI involvement. It was a great opportunity to show up-and-coming students what research is, how to get involved, and what can be achieved during their time as undergraduates. I think a huge barrier to students getting involved in research as undergraduates is not even knowing such a thing exists!
Working at the Christiansburg Women and Minorities Health fair was a very insightful experience. While there, we were able to connect with people and inform them about endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). We found that most attendees had heard of BPA, but had no idea why it was bad or how to avoid it. We were there to form that bridge between the science of EDCs and the regular household. I feel that we were really able to reach families that otherwise would never have known about EDCs and their potential effects. We were also met with attendees with some unconventional beliefs about EDCs, which gave us some insight into the importance of public outreach. It was very rewarding, and I plan to continue to reach the public in ways similar to this for the rest of my life.