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Science outreach in Seattle: Ideas to get you started

Dec 2010 | Michelle 3,597 Comments

Photo courtesy of Seattle Expanding Your Horizons

Considering science outreach? It’s a great way to hone communication skills while sharing science and the excitement of discovery with others. Luckily, at UW and in Seattle, there are lots of ways we can get involved—but where to start?

Nancy Hutchison, director of the Science Education Partnership at the Hutch, has kindly helped us put together a list of options for doing science outreach in the Seattle area. Check them out—we’re pretty sure there’s something that will fit your interests and your schedule.

If you know of other great outreach opportunities, please let us know! Add comments below or email us at mcbtranscript@u.washington.edu.

Student BioExpo
Hosted by the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (NWABR), BioExpo is a science fair connecting high school students directly with life science researchers. There are a number of mentor options available, from email support to mentoring students in your lab. Registration is open now!

NWABR Speakers’ Bureau
Volunteers can sign up for the Speakers’ Bureau or be a Science Outreach Volunteer at science fairs, workshops and conferences. Learn more from Reitha Weeks at rweeks@nwabr.org or Jennifer Wroblewski, NWABR Speakers Bureau Coordinator, at jenniferw@nwabr.org.

Seattle Expanding Your Horizons
Seattle Expanding Your Horizons (SEYH) is an annual Saturday spring event held at Seattle University in which middle school girls participate in engineering, science and math workshops. Currently, there are several spaces open to be a workshop presenter at the 2011 SEYH conference. To sign up as a presenter of a workshop, contact presenter@seyh.org. To sign up as a volunteer for the event, contact volunteer@seyh.org.

AWIS Seattle
The Seattle chapter of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) has a range of opportunities for working with students, including their GEMS program for middle school girls. Contact gems@seattleawis.org.

Partners in Science
If your PI is willing and you are interested, mentor a high school science teacher in your lab for two summers for the Murdock Trust’s Partners in Science program. Contact Nancy Hutchison at nhutchis@fhcrc.org if interested.

The Forum on Science, Ethics and Policy (FOSEP)
Focused on the intersection of science and policy, FOSEP brings speakers to the UW campus and holds frequent discussion groups. From Sara Bender, a FOSEP organizer: “We have a book club, host happy hours and participate in the annual AAAS Policy Conference each year, too. To join FOSEP you just have to sign up on our mailing list (on the FOSEP website), and you’re in.”

Neuroscience for Kids
Connect with Eric Chudler at UW (chudler@u.washington.edu) to help out with his award-winning website and other outreach activities.

Help mentor a group of undergraduates working on a synthetic biology project. This year-long program, in the form of an international competition, culminates with a conference at which students present their work before judges. This year’s IGEM team brought home a big award!

Other opportunities

  • Ask Stephanie Namciu (snamciu@fhcrc.org), SEP Associate Director, to put you on the list for volunteer outreach opportunities.
  • Check in with Terry Duffey (tduffey@uw.edu) and Michele Karantsavelos (mkarants@fhcrc.org) in the MCB offices and let them know you’d like to volunteer for outreach opportunities.
  • At the Hutch, MCB students can sign up for the Student-Postdoc Advisory Committee (SPAC) listserv hosted by Karen Peterson (kpeterso@fhcrc.org). The e-mail messages include requests for outreach help such as helping with science fair mentoring, judging, or family science nights at schools.

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