CNAS Science Ambassadors
Projects and Activities
The SISTERS Program, which stands for Success in Science and Technology: Engagement with Role-models, is designed to promote higher education and STEM related fields to 7th and 8th grade girls from University Heights Middle School. This is accomplished by using a role model approach in which female CNAS Student Ambassadors mentor the group of girls in topics ranging from social media to self-esteem. We also have teamed up with female faculty members in STEM to coordinate presentations and demonstrations that engage the young girls in science experiments. The faculty members also talk to the students regarding how they got into STEM and the challenges that they faced.
Apart from promoting STEM to the group of girls, SISTERS is also aimed at boosting their self-confidence so that they can overcome bullying, stereotypes and other obstacles that they may face. Past events have included a visit to a food product and environmental testing laboratory, Babcock Laboratories, Inc., as well as to the Sycamore Canyon Nature Center. The SISTERS Program makes an impact not only on the middle school girls but has given the female ambassadors a platform to be a mentor and spark the interest of future scientists.
Delta SIFY, also known as "Change in Scientific Importance For Youth," is a program created to inspire high school students into pursing STEM majors/careers by giving live science demonstrations, presentations, and tutoring to students. UCR students work with students to show the importance of STEM in daily lives, nurturing interests in the sciences, bringing confidence to students, and ultimately providing an opportunity for students to explore the process of getting into college and working in the STEM field. Each quarter, students will visit high schools to provide hands-on demonstration of science concepts and presentation of real-world science scenarios. During the school year, students will tutor high schoolers from Riverside STEM Academy at UCR.
Each quarter, students will visit high schools to provide hands-on demonstration of science concepts and presentation of real-world science scenarios. During the school year, students will tutor high schoolers from Riverside STEM Academy at UCR.
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SMASH was founded by Connor Richards in 2014 with the help of the Donald Strauss Scholarship. The goal of SMASH is to increase college enrollment in STEM fields among Riverside-area high school students, specifically those from under-represented, low-income, and/or first generation backgrounds. We accomplish this by tutoring and mentoring students at Ramona high school. This program is partnered with an outreach event hosted by the UCR Physics department in conjunction with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) called the CERN Masterclass. During the Masterclass, high school students are invited on campus, run a mock-data analysis, and skype with CERN other high schools around the world to discuss the results.In the 2016-1017 academic year, Kevin Mortazavi expanded the capstone outreach activities from primarily physics based with the Masterclass, to including the life sciences with the Dynamic Genome Project. Similar to the Masterclass, the Dynamic Genome Project brings high school students on campus to the Campbell Labs to extract their own DNA and run a full Polymerase Chain Reacter (PCR) experiment to determine if they posses specific genes.
Little EINSTENs, or Little Explorers In N'terdisciplinary Sciences To Encourage INspiration, is a program founded to expose elementary school students to STEM, encourage them to eventually enter higher education, inspire them to pursue a STEM-related career in the future, and also showcase the interdisciplinary nature of STEM. The main component of this outreach effort consists of by request classroom visits to schools where teachers can choose an experiment/demonstration from a list (see current list below) and schedule a time for our college students to teach an in-class lesson with 4 components: warm-up, mini-lesson, experiment/demonstration, and review. The idea is to allow students to have fun experiencing a STEM activity and interacting with current college students in addition to learning a little bit about the science behind what they are doing. Occasionally, we will host our activities at science fairs and science nights by request.
Discover Day 2016
This past April, the CNAS Science Ambassadors represented the college firsthand by discussing their individual experiences with prospective students at a variety of venues. With the day started off by a speech by ambassador Hanni Schoniger, Science Ambassadors were active throughout the day leading tours and sharing about themselves at public lectures. Some of the day's highlights are shown below:
RUSD Science and Engineering Fair at UCR
Students of all ages from the Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) presented their projects and ideas at the RUSD Science and Engineering Fair, hosted at UCR. CNAS Science Ambassadors and faculty volunteered to judge the students' presentations and discuss their budding interests.
End of Year Slideshow
At the very last meeting for the 2015-2016 school year, the CNAS Science Ambassadors reviewed some of the highlights and memories from the events they attended together. For your viewing pleasure, watch the video