A strong scientific workforce and infrastructure are essential to maintain economic growth and global competitiveness. Under-represented minorities are the fastest growing population yet their representation is the sciences is disproportionately low.
The EPIC Ambassadors Program (EAP), recently renamed CU INVESTors, is focused on making science accessible to people from all racial and economic backgrounds. In this program, undergraduates apply knowledge gained in the classroom to implement laboratory experiments at area high schools. One goal is to increase participation of students from under-represented minority and economically disadvantaged populations in science. Members include Clemson University students who mentor and train students a Richland Northeast High School (RNE, Columbia, RNE). During the academic year, CU students travel to RNA and use a series of short molecular biology experiments to introduce students to basic laboratory skills. The ultimate goal of these experiments is to build genetic constructs for use in the research done in my lab. At the end of the spring semester students from RNE visit Clemson and observe how the constructs they built are used in the laboratory to solve real world problems.
Through this collaboration, Clemson undergraduates gain a better understanding of the concepts learned in the classroom, gain experience in teaching, and build the skills required for designing, conducting, troubleshooting and analyzing experiments. K-12 students get exposure to real-world science and learn about scientific issues that affect them. Ultimately, the hope is to increase scientific literacy, stimulate interest in science, and build confidence of students from all backgrounds to pursue scientific endeavors.
Download Presentation: CU INVESTors INclusiVe Excellence in Science and Technology
|Meredith Morris||Olivia Mirabella||Hannah Hallusker|
Meredith Morris is an Assistant Professor in Genetics and Biochemistry at Clemson University. Her research laboratory studies the cellular biology of parasites that cause a number of neglected tropical diseases such as African sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, and Leishmaniasis. These diseases affect seventy billion people worldwide, mostly in under-resourced areas. In the classroom, Meredith teaches Fundamentals of Genetics and Molecular Biochemistry.
During her time as a researcher and teacher, Meredith has noticed a striking lack of diversity in individuals pursuing careers in science- related fields. As a result, she has created a service-learning project with her current college students to expose K-12 students from underrepresented minority and economically disadvantaged backgrounds to scientific laboratory experiments in the field of genetics, with the goal of promoting more interest among K-12 students in pursuing scientific careers.
Olivia Mirabella, Junior, Genetics
Hannah Hallusker, Junior, Genetics
Clemson University Collaborations in Service-Learning is sponsored by the Clemson Service Alliance. The Service Alliance promotes the use of community service and service-learning by Clemson faculty in classes with both undergraduate and graduate students in all major disciplinary areas. The Collaborations radio webcasts are an opportunity to hear from some of our Clemson Service Alliance Faculty Fellows, their students, and their community partners about service-learning projects around the state of S.C., and to learn about the impact of these service-learning projects on the community and on student learning outcomes. In 2015-2016, we will be focusing on service –learning classes in five different disciplinary areas: Planning and Landscape Architecture, English, Languages, Teacher Education, and Nursing. Thank you for participating, and we hope that service-learning practitioners in both K-12 and higher education will find these workshops very helpful in the course development, implementation, and evaluation process. This program comes to you as a public service of Clemson University. There is no fee, and no registration is required. You may listen to the program and view the supplementary materials using only your computer. You will need to call in if you wish to speak on the live program.