While taking classes and tutoring at a community college my junior and senior years of high school, I met a lot of dedicated, talented, hardworking people. Unfortunately, the community college environment often doesn't introduce students to research opportunities and therefore many never get involved. Through programs such as Condor Techs and SIMS here at UCSB, I seek to expose community college students and beginning university students to research.
Condor Techs gives STEM students at Oxnard college the opportunity to spend two weeks on the UCSB campus in an intensive hands-on research experience. Over the course of those two weeks, my students learned the basic neuroscience behind category learning, the visual field, and how the two interact. They then successfully collected data from 17 subjects, analyzed the data, interpreted the results, and developed a future plan taking into account the results. We also had a lot of fun in both our daily lunch conversations and in the cardboard boat races held on the beautiful Goleta Beach! Stay tuned for a link to their presentation!
Similar to Condor Techs, SIMS is a two week program in which beginning UCSB students (prior to their first year) spend two weeks on campus taking coursework, attending lectures on professional development, and being mentored on a research project by a current graduate student.
In the two weeks I had them, my group of 4 incoming freshmen learned the background behind the project and what the Condor Techs team had discovered, successfully collected data from human subjects for a new experiment reflecting the Condor Tech results, analyzed and interpreted the results, and presented their research in a 10 minute research presentation.
Overall, it was a great opportunity to perform research outreach while mentoring some very motivated incoming students and showing them the many opportunities of scientific research. We also had some fun through the cardboard boat races and team building exercises! Stay tuned for a link to their presentation!
ScienceLine gives local K-12 students and teachers the opportunity to ask a science/research question to a researcher at UCSB. The goal of the program is to teach the students how to formulate scientific questions, get them interested in science and research, and show them that scientists care about them and are more than mythical figures wearing lab coats and plotting to take over the world.
As an answerer, I answer questions on a wide variety of topics related to neuroscience, psychology, and engineering. Examples of questions I have answered on: schizophrenia, memory loss after brain damage.