East Bay Science Cafe

I am currently the graduate student coordinator for the East Bay Science Cafe. This science cafe is an open forum where researchers can present their current findings to the public in a relaxed and interactive setting. I began my involvement with this program in 2009 when I presented my own research from my Master’s project at the cafe. Realizing the importance of sharing research with a public audience, I furthered my involvement and became the graduate student coordinator where my duties include recruiting researchers to speak at events and hosting the cafe where I introduce speakers and invite audience questions to ensure that the researchers and the audience make the most of their experience.

BASIS – Elementary School Outreach

This outreach program brings graduate students into the classroom of elementary school students to integrate their field of research with California Science Content Standards. For the past few years, I have presented to kindergarden, 4th, and 5th grade classrooms on different aspects of insect biology. Kindergarten classes learn basic differences between insects and spiders and build an insect of their own using craft supplies. Fourth graders learn about predators, prey, and food webs using insects as examples. Fifth graders learn about the human digestive systema and basic insect digestive systems and make comparisons and contrasts between the two.

SMASH: Summer Math and Science Honors Academy

This summer program offers real research experience to high school students from the California Bay Area who come from underrepresented groups in the sciences. I participated in this program during the summer of 2012 for several weeks where I worked closely with seven students on a project examining beetle systematics and the use of molecular data. I also aided the students through writing a research paper and presenting their research in a 10 minute powerpoint presentation.

Cal Day & Darwin Day

Cal Day occurs once a year and is a University of California, Berkeley campus-wide event where the school showcases different aspects of the research currently taking place. I have participated since 2011 through both the Essig Museum of Entomology and the Entomology Student’s Organization. I speak to the public about preserved insects and the importance of natural history collections and also particpate in insect-themed face painting for children.

Darwin Day also occurs on a yearly basis and the Essig Museum of Entomology opens it’s doors to the public to discuss Darwin, insects, and natural history collections. I have given tours of the museum for the past three years during this event.