Graduate students host hands-on scientific activities for area students
Published May 9, 2016
An NDSU graduate student called on volunteers to dunk a banana and flower into liquid nitrogen. The banana turned hard like a hammer and students used it to shatter the flower’s petals like glass. “Cool, much better than class,” said a high school student who was watching.
The hands-on scientific activity was one of many at the second annual graduate student-run event, Avenues of Scientific Discovery. Graduate students led more than 180 area high school students through experiments such as extracting DNA from strawberries, observing pond water microorganisms and learning how diseases spread.
Avenues of Scientific Discovery is among many NDSU events designed to introduce the next generation of young professionals to scientific fields. These events create a fun and safe environment for area high school students to learn about core science concepts from different disciplines. Eighty graduate student volunteers representing 12 programs assisted with the event.
NDSU inspires future scientists. Graduate students led more than 180 high school students through a series of science experiences to spark interest in the field.
“We wanted to show that even though science can be difficult at times, it is all around us and can be really fun,” said microbiology graduate student Breanne Steffan, one of the event coordinators.
Steffan grew up in rural North Dakota and didn’t discover microbiology until she arrived at NDSU. Her goal is to introduce high school students to a wide range of scientific fields and inspire them to pursue careers they may not have otherwise known about.
“We want to make sure that students have the ability to explore different science fields so that they can discover their passion for science early on,” she said.
Organizers are planning the next Avenues of Scientific Discovery for fall 2017.