SoundCitizen and the UW Institute for Science and Mathematics Education hosted high school and middle school student apprenticeship programs with funding from the OEDG office of the Geosciences Program at the National Science Foundation to infuse geosciences research and mentorship experiences into existing out-of-school activities for youth from groups that are historically underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
SoundCitizen is proud to have graduated our first apprenticeship class from 2009-2010. Congratulations Sumaya, Sha, Suezin, Helber, Rolando, Gabriel, Nyke and Matthieuw! Drawn from across the Seattle area, these students met every week to learn about SoundCitizen, analytical chemistry and develop their own research project. In February 2010 they attended the Ocean Sciences Meeting and presented a poster on plasticizers in the waters of Puget Sound. Download a low-resolution copy of the poster here (.pdf file, ~2mb).
From 2010-2011, our program transitioned to Project C.O.O.L. (Chemical Oceanography Outside of the Lab) and focused on middle school girls from a Seattle middle school. We graduated three cohorts of youth (25 girls total) who were mentored by UW scientists from a variety of disciplines and local community members while conducting aquatic geochemistry and community research. In addition to creating positive experiences for youth, our program also resulted in a nine-week curriculum for informal learning programs, connected seven ocean science undergraduates and three SACNAS graduate students with youth mentoring experiences, expanded the list of compounds the SoundCitizen measures and increased our ability to disseminate research results in youth-centered informal education programs.
SoundCitizen would like to thank the UW Student Chapter of SACNAS, Ocean Inquiry Project, Salish Sea Expeditions, and the Seattle Aquarium for their support in helping us create positive experiences for our future scientists!