UMass STEM Ed Institute Presents: Spring 2016
STEM Tuesday Seminars
Sonia M. Hall, PhD – University of Massachusetts Medical School; Lynn Villafuerte, MS - University of Kansas
Careers in science require an important understanding of effective communication that can reach far from the bench, into the voting community, and to individuals that will be the future workforce. It is recognized that the ability to progress the scientific enterprise requires strong intellectual and financial support from the community. The Massachusetts and Kansas DNA Day programs work to develop early career scientists to strengthen their communication skills beyond the doors of the research institution and to integrate outreach into their research programs throughout their careers. Ambassador training provides tools to build an understanding of how to merge basic principles of science with the ambassadors’ research interests. In addition to ambassador development, a major goal of the DNA Day programs is to link high school course content with real life research applications - building bridges between students, the textbook, and the bench. During DNA Day ambassador visits, students not only hear about the relevance of the work from the ambassadors, but also engage in an activity that allows them to experience simplified techniques that are used to explore and answer research questions. We put the tools in the hands of the students in hopes that this creates a sense of ability within the students, encouraging them to envision themselves pursuing a career in STEM. Additionally, as part of the DNA Day experience, ambassadors discuss their research interests and the paths they have navigated to reach their current position. This opens the floor to questions from students that allow them to better visualize themselves as part of the future STEM workforce.
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