BLOOME PIs (from left): Alex Borowsky, Meg Kargul, Kinnari Atit, Loralee Larios

ASPB Plant BLOOME: Alleviating the Outreach Drought with Scientists in the Classroom

Assistant Professors Loralee Larios, Kinnari Atit, fellow graduate student Meg Kargul, and I developed this project funded by the American Society of Plant Biologists to develop hands-on science activities that address plant response to drought from the cellular to ecosystem level. These activities will address middle school Next Generation Science Standards, and UCR graduate and undergraduate students will take them to middle school classrooms throughout the academic year. Through interactions between UCR scientists and middle school students, we hope to increase middle schoolers' science identity and self efficacy and foster an inclusive culture of science.

As an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University, I worked extensively with an outreach organization, VSVS, to teach hands-on science lessons in middle school classrooms. As outreach committee chair, I planned additional events for the organization, including middle school science nights and designing a booth for Vanderbilt's Mega Microbe Day.