MSU graduate student Michelle Vogel, writer of this post, was one of several BEACONites who participated in this event.
While the undergrads were vacant from MSU last week, local middle schoolers descended on campus to learn about science. The Graduate Women in Science along with BEACON and the Council of Graduate Students hosted over 100 middle school girls for a middle school math and science day. At the heart of the event were women faculty, graduate students and others sharing their love of maths, science and engineering fields with the girls. Dr. Stephanie Watts started the day off by sharing her love of science and her journey to becoming a faculty member. She then challenged the girls to ask questions, discover what they were passionate about, and have fun.
The girls then participated activities like wildlife forensics, where participants used skittles for karyotyping and even ran the ‘extracted DNA’ from the skittles on an electrophoresis gel. At “What’s your number? Blood Pressure,” our keynote speaker and her posse of female scientists taught several groups of girls how to take their blood pressure and talked about researching new blood pressure medications. After participating in several of these types of activities, the day ended with an ice cream social and graduate student panel where the girls got to ask several of us about how we got to where we are and why we love what we do.