A special message to WGS members and outreach volunteers,
Thank you! Thank you for being a major part of my graduate school career these past three years! Thank you to the dozens of people who have stepped-up to spread science to the youth in our community. I have had the pleasure of being a co-facilitator in over 60 days of science outreach during my time as an outreach co-chair and none of that could have been possible without people willing to take a few hours of their day to help with an experiment and lend their knowledge to help build a vast science curriculum. To the people I called on to lead a dozen 8-year-olds on a lab walkthrough with an hour’s notice, to the people who loaned random personal items for use in an experiment, to the people whose desks were infiltrated by outreach supplies, to the people who arrived on campus on a Saturday at 8 am to teach girls about rocks or optics or robotics or genetics, to the people who tested new outreach experiments with minimal direction so the kinks could be worked out, to the people who donated money so we could build our supplies to expand our curricula, to the people who rescheduled meetings around outreach or were the victims of a forgotten response to an email in the middle of planning to bring 120 fourth graders to campus, to the people who helped schedule rooms and labs weeks or hours in advance, to the people who offered up a new outreach event idea or networked on our behalf, to my co-outreach chairs Kate, Loni, and Dana who shared their science knowledge and planned events with me, to the WGS boards from 2015 through 2018 who supported our expanding outreach efforts: THANK YOU!
As an outreach chair, I advanced my teaching skills, broadened my network and science knowledge, learned cool tricks and tidbits about science topics ranging from physics to anthropology, figured out how to delegate and balance a heavy workload, and had the opportunity to share a positive and fun science experience with hundreds of students who might not otherwise ever see science as an everyday fact of life and a viable career option. My experience on the WGS board rounded out my graduate school experience to prepare me for a career as a scientific teacher. I look forward to one day being able to give back to this organization that brought so much purpose and joy (and some frustrations) to my life and helped me learn to better advocate for myself and other minorities in the sciences.
As I move into my final year of graduate school and beyond, I look forward to watching the WGS outreach program continue to build-in curricula from a variety of scientific topics and spread the message that science is for everyone. I know our outreach program is in good hands this next year with Sarah and Emily at the helm.
WGS Outreach Co-Chair 2015-2018