Who are we?
We are a group of graduate students committed to the mission of increasing public knowledge and appreciation of science.
What do we do?
We believe that the best way to learn scientific concepts and understand the importance of science education is by doing it. Most of our lessons are simple and hands-on, mostly using equipment and supplies teachers and families have easy access to. We seek to engage the community and improve science education in several ways, and we are always looking for new connections and opportunities to share our passion and ideas.
Current and Ongoing Projects:
- We visit Brogden Middle School twice monthly, where we work with 6th grade classes to teach math-based lessons and lead hands-on science activities.
- Through participation in various science outreach events and fairs at Duke and local museums, we bring basic concepts of genetics to a broader audience of all ages. Some of these events include:
- SciTech Expo at the NC Science Museum in Raleigh
- DNA Day -- all over NC
- Science Nights at elementary and middle schools
- We develop and lead events for NC Science Olympiads (http://www.sciencenc.com/) every spring. We can create tests for elementary, middle, and high school events.
News Briefs About DoinGG:
Duke Outreach in Genetics and Genomics Participate in Duke Science Night
Every year, Duke University hosts an event called Science Under the Stars, organized by the Duke Chemistry department's Dr. Ken Lyle. At this event, local families bring their kids to campus to interact with scientists from Duke and the surrounding community. This year, 7 students from Duke Outreach in Genetics and Genomics (DOinGG) taught fun, hands-on science to the community. We had genetic models on display under microscopes: zebrafish larvae, C. elegans, and drosophila, representing three model systems UPGG students use in their research. We talked to parents and kids about the similarities between model organisms and humans, as well as the current research going on at Duke in these models. Kids pointed out that the flies and fish have eyes, so maybe they could be used for eye research. When told that the early developmental stages of flies and fish are similar to humans, one parent exclaimed “my little larva!” to their child. We also discussed the structure and function of DNA in the most delicious way possible: through candy DNA helices. Using twizzlers as a sugar-phosphate backbone (emphasis on the sugar) and gummy bears as the bases, even the youngest children learned that A pairs with T and G pairs with C (with a toothpick through the gummy bear belly). We engaged with nearly 60 children and their families in the event, which was held from 6-8p.m. in French Family Science Center on October 19.
Other groups present were Duke Physics, Duke Chemistry, MGM Outreach, and NC Museum of Natural Science. This is the 6th year we have took part in Science Under the Stars (SUtS).
- We have partnered with Central Park School for Children, during their 5th grade electives, to offer a genetics class. Over the course of ten weeks, topics include heredity, genes, and DNA.
- We developed lesson plans for elementary, middle, and high school teachers in collaboration with SciREN (http://www.thesciren.org/), a research scientist and teacher networking group. These lessons focused on antibiotic drug resistance from a biological and medical perspective, with lessons tailored for all ages. All of those materials are available here (https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_dZqqogLbwOc0liQXFmak9JWkk&authuser=0).
- We volunteer in the Micro World Investigate lab (http://naturalsciences.org/nature-research-center/micro-world-investigate-lab) at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Upcoming events we will be at include:
- Career fairs at the high school and college level: What does a career in science mean?
- High school lab experiments
- Campus lab tours
- January 13: Marbles Family Fun Day @ Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh
- Early 2018: NC Science Olympiad Regional Events
- February 8: STEAM Night @ Scotts Ridge Elementary
- February 13: Science Night @ Little River Elementary
You can e-mail us with potential ideas for collaborations or for us to come to your event. We are all full-time graduate students, so our workdays are usually pretty busy. We are most available for weekends and evenings.
You can also check us out on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/DukeOutreachGeneticsGenomics).