On February 23rd, 2018, Microbiology graduate students and laboratory personnel provided lab tours and research demonstrations for AP Biology and AP Chemistry students from Heritage High School in Rockdale County, which encouraged students to make connections between their coursework and current research in the microbial sciences. Microbiology graduate students Rachel Burkhardt, Lauren Essler, Jennifer Kurasz, Bowen Meng, Coralis Rodriguez-Garcia, Morgan Teachey, and Tao Wang, and lab assistants Lauren Slarks and Obi Okafor, talked with the high school students about engaging in research when they attend college and gave the students hands-on research experiences in their laboratories. The field trip was planned by Drs. Anna Karls and Tim Hoover at the request of the AP Biology/Chemistry teachers.
On March 1st and 8th, 2018, the Experience UGA Biology program for 9th graders from Cedar Shoals and Clarke Central High Schools in Clarke County, which is organized through the UGA Office of Service-Learning, held a science expo at Memorial Hall. The Microbiology department provided a demonstration booth on “The Power of Microbes” in which students learned about the microbes of the termite gut and their role in conversion of cellulose to energy. Microbiology graduate students Taiwo Akinyemi, Clay Crippen, Lauren Essler, Chris Keggi, Jennifer Kurasz, and Olivia Thompson, and undergraduates Kimia Nezafat and Obi Okafor guided the 9th graders in applying the core concepts from their biology curriculum to research questions being addressed in Microbiology and real-life applications. Dr. Anna Karls directed this outreach activity.
Pictured: (Top)- Rachel Burkhardt from the Escalante-Semerena lab. (Bottom, from left to right)- Taiwo Akinyemi (Whitman lab), Kimia Nezafat (Karls lab), Olivia Thompson (Peterson lab), and Chris Keggi (Peterson lab).