IGERT trainee Stephen Rong participated in theVartan Volunteers Program which offers science outreach through Brown University at the Vartan Gregorian Elementary School.
Throughout the fall 2015 and spring 2016, Stephen gave science lessons and science demonstrations to elementary school classrooms on the subjects of Constellations, Coastal Erosion, Oil Spills, The Sun and Weather, Clouds, and Volcanoes.
IGERT Trainee Brooke Osborne visited a 2nd grade class at Vartan Gregorian Elementary School on April 29th, 2015.
Brooke Osborne gave a brief lecture about sound waves, discussing topics like echolocation, and light waves. Brooke and the students created "reeds" of different lengths out of straws and made/tested hypotheses about which would create a higher or lower pitch based on their length and the topics discussed in lecture. They finished the lesson with a thought experiment about how a straw would appear in a water class: bent or straight. The children based there hypotheses for this off of what they learned about the bending of light through different mediums.
IGERT Trainee Brooke Osborne visited a 2nd grade class at Vartan Gregorian Elementary School on April 8th, 2014.
Local 2nd grade students were taught about the scientific method as well as interactions of liquids and solids in nature through a small lesson as well as multiple group experiments. Students formed and tested hypotheses together about the creation of rivers and brooks and movement of sediment through erosion.
Liquids in Geology – properties of solids and liquids.
IGERT Trainee Adam Spierer visited a 2nd grade class at Vartan Gregorian Elementary School on March 25th, 2014.
The 2nd grade students were introduced to the scientific method using property testing of solids and liquids. The students listed properties they noticed about each solid and liquid and had a discussion about how powders take shape of their container (like a liquid), but are solid. Flow and viscosity were predicted and the students tested their hypothesis by pouring the liquids (water, corn syrup, molasses and chocolate syrup) down an incline. The data was “peer reviewed” by the students and a consensus was reached.
IGERT trainees Morgan Moeglein and Stephen Rong went to The Wheeler School on March 11-13th, to visit a 12 grade AP Biology class. Morgan and Stephen taught a two part bioinformatics lesson, based on published work by the Losos Lab at Harvard on speciation in Anolis lizards. The students' were asked to compare phylogenetic trees built from morphological evidence (morphological measurements) and molecular evidence (DNA sequences). They were given a pre-made morphological tree and were asked to create a molecular DNA tree using a given FASTA file in MEGA. Their task was to color each species on each of the two trees based on geographic location and 'ecomorph' (shared phenotype and niche space). They discussed which of two alternative models for Anolis speciation is best supported by the morphological and molecular data: model (1) convergent adaptive radiations on separate islands, or model (2) dispersal from an original location post-adaptation.