GK-12 Science & Mathematics in Los Angeles Urban Schools
During the year, Fellows discuss their PhD research with their GK-12 classes. This experience made them realize the need to inform society about science and science research. One student said, “Many students were fascinated that I was actually working to synthesize pharmaceutical drugs. Their questions amazed me because I had never viewed my research from the innocence and wonder of such youthful eyes in quite some time and reinforced some general principles [the importance of bringing your science to the public] that I had started to take for granted. This was the first time many of the students realized the possibilities of research as graduate students in the sciences." Another wrote, "After class and for weeks following my presentation, I was regularly approached to answer questions about my research and about plants, animals, and the desert in general. This led to me implement an “Ask a Scientist” board in each classroom. There, students could submit science-related questions, and I would write answers for all to read. The presentation gave the students an opportunity to see what a scientist does. It led to a discussion about schooling (college, graduate school, etc.) and in general, made the students more aware of what it might be like to be a scientist." A third commented, "The title of my talk was ‘Marine Biology.’ I talked about what I do, where I do it, what I use, and with whom I work. I also brought my SCUBA gear to class and had one volunteer put some stuff on. I explained what everything was for, why I use SCUBA for research, etc. They asked how they could become SCUBA divers, how I got to graduate school, and I got tons of questions about various animals in the ocean. It went on and on....it was fun."