For three straight years, the University of Georgia has capitalized on its red-hot football team to help spread the gospel of STEM research education.
This year’s STEMzone event, which featured a variety of information booths dedicated to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, hunkered down on the Zell B. Miller Learning Center lawn prior to kickoff on Nov. 9 against the Missouri Tigers. The 2019 edition of STEMzone hosted more than a dozen hands-on opportunities to engage people of all ages in UGA research.
“We are glad to report that STEMzone fall 2019 was a great success,” said Caitlin Conn, a doctoral student in ecology and member of the STEMzone planning team. “Around 85 graduate student and faculty volunteers braved the cold weather to bring Bulldog fans 13 different interactive booths, ranging in topics from conservation and palm oil to regenerative bioscience.”
While STEMzone booths and activities were geared toward young children, people of all ages found something interesting to take part in as they made their way into the stadium, with a diverse range of topics including brain anatomy, monarch butterflies, reptiles and underwater robots.
STEMzone was created three years ago by ecology graduate student Reni Kaul to introduce the community to UGA research. It has since grown into an interactive outreach event that bridges the gap between two otherwise unrelated realms: football and research.
“We were able to engage nearly 1,000 visitors of all ages—and team affiliations—with the STEM research being done at UGA,” Conn said.
STEMzone 2019 participants included:
- Department of Anthropology
- EcoReach: Build-a-Bug Workshop
- Genetics Graduate Student Association: Diversity of Life
- Georgia Dolphin Ecology Program
- Graduate Research Assistants Diversifying STEM (GRADS): To Flu Shot or Not
- Integrative Conservation PhD (ICON) and POP UGA: Palm Oil, the Hidden Ingredient
- Project Monarch Health: Migration Station
- Regenerative Bioscience Center: Regenerative Bioscience you can TOUCH
- Roberts-Galbraith Cellular Biology Lab: Off with Their Heads!
- UGA Women in Science
- Neuroscience Graduate Student Association: Neuroscience at UGA
- Marine Sciences: Marine Debris
Anyone who missed STEMzone 2019 will have another chance to participate when the Bulldogs take the field for their spring practice game in 2020. “We are excited to do it all again on G-Day,” said Conn.