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WIB-Southern California: Young Women In Bio - Selfies are Out. Self-Made is In, October 27, 2019

Posted By Kristina M Herbert, Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Selfies are Out. Self-made is In! symposium for teens took place at AMN Healthcare to encourage high school girls to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) careers and to become tomorrow’s leaders. Southern California Young Women in Bio (SoCal YWIB), sponsored by Scientist.com and partnering with Girl Scouts of San Diego, co-organized this event with Winward Academy. The event featured a panel of impressive female leaders sharing their paths, giving advice, and inspiring local youth.

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Speakers included:

Maile Young Karris, M.D., Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at UC San Diego, and Associate Director of the SD Center for AIDS Clinical Research
MJ Meloy, Ph.D., Assistant Clinical Professor at UC San Diego, MRI Technologist for the Adolescent Brain Development Project
Nicole Nasby Lucas, M.S., Research Biologist at the Marine Conservation Science Institute
Sadia Naseem, Electronic Components Packaging Engineer at Qualcomm Inc.
Renee Edgren, Hybrid Sales Manager for LinkedIn
Paloma Cortez, Clinical Research Study Coordinator at UC San Diego
Liz Bui, J.D., Ph.D., Vice President & IP Counsel at ViaCyte, Inc.
Debbie Chen, Ph.D., the Founder, and CEO of Hydrostasis
Wendy Benson, M.B.A., Vice President, Strategic Initiatives for Rady Children’s Institute for Genomics
Sabrina Johnson, the President, and CEO of DARÉ Bioscience and Board Member of Athena
Karen Overklift, Education & Industry Outreach Manager at Biocom Institute
Claire Maunsell, STEM Program Specialist for Girl Scouts of San Diego

Over 70 teens and their parents from more than 25 local schools listened to two-panel discussions that addressed how these women became leaders and what they see coming next. Speakers encouraged teens to shape and change the world through STEM, describing the tools and resources available to them to build successful careers. Dr. Linda Strause - a board member of Women in Bio and panel moderator - stated, “We exist to ignite the curiosity and fuel the passion in girls, encouraging them to pursue STEM studies and supporting them as they advance.”

The panelists were all highly driven and successful women, ranging in careers from medical doctors to marine biologists to company founders to educators to clinical research coordinators to STEM program specialists to biotechnology executives. They all stressed the importance of finding mentors and offered participants the opportunity to reach out to them.

Panelists were aligned in encouraging teens to pursue what they love, to find mentors for guidance, to say “yes” when opportunities arise, and above all work hard. Liz Bui, J.D., Ph.D., Vice President & IP Counsel, ViaCyte, Inc. shared advice she gives her daughter regularly with the audience, “Hard work trumps talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

Several panelists described their journey to success as one in which they persevered in consistently showing people that they could become what others said they couldn’t. Dr. Maile Young Karris explained how she was consistently encouraged to pursue nursing rather than becoming an M.D. Claire Maunsell a STEM Program Specialist for Girl Scouts of San Diego described how already in kindergarten she stood her ground when she was told by a male classmate that she could not color on blue paper.

When panelists were asked by students about selecting majors that would allow them to pursue STEM careers, they were candid, telling students that majors were likely to change and that it was important to pursue something they enjoyed. Panelists also spoke to the importance of learning by doing and taking risks to do things for which you might not feel completely qualified. Debbie Chen, Ph.D., and Founder of Hydrostasis emphasized that degrees and grades were not essential, but rather finding your niche, where you will work hard for something that means something to you.  

Dr. Jennifer Winward, an instructor at the University of California, San Diego and the founder and CEO of Winward Academy, helped YWIB organize the event and moderated a panel. Dr. Winward is committed to providing educational resources to teens entering STEM programs. Dr. Winward affirms, “I am honored to share my experiences working with youth, and I’m thrilled to partner with YWIB and AMN Healthcare to support the YWIB mission. Winward Academy promotes a holistic view of teen paths to success. While we love to support youth with their ‘numbers’ like GPA and test scores, we care that they also pursue valuable life experiences and understand the importance of internships, mentorship, and relationships with teachers.” 

 

Tags:  2019  Southern California 

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WIB-Seattle: Dive into Marine Biology with YWIB-Seattle at the Seattle Aquarium, November 13, 2019

Posted By Brittany Ruhland, Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Young Women In Bio-Seattle headed to the Seattle Aquarium on November 13, 2019. Twenty-two high school students rolled up their sleeves to perform squid dissections and plankton tows, followed by a great career panel with experts in marine biology.

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Students were first able to observe first-hand how the chromatophores of a market squid can change color with applied pressure. After carefully noting how the external features of a squid contribute to its function, students enthusiastically began their dissection under the guidance of a Seattle Aquarium expert. 

After delving into the anatomy of a squid, students turned their attention to the bountiful microorganisms living in Elliot Bay underneath the Seattle Aquarium. Groups of two to three students performed plankton tows off the side of the pier as the sun set behind the Olympic Mountains. Students then searched for zooplankton and phytoplankton using microscopes and identification guides; the occasional excited raised voice let us know when a fast-moving plankton species was spotted! 

Three wonderful panelists from the Seattle Aquarium concluded the evening with a lively discussion of careers in marine biology. Kathryn Kegel (Senior Aquarist), Julie Carpenter (Associate Curator of Birds & Mammals), and Caitlin Hadfield (Senior Veterinarian) spoke about their own educational and professional paths, as well as answering specific questions from students on how to set themselves up for success in marine biology during college. The many and varied student questions ranged from topics of current research going on at the Seattle Aquarium to the best strategies for getting involved in marine conservation. Because marine biology and conservation go hand in hand, the panelists also shared their thoughts on how best to promote inclusion in the field of conservation, and how conservation ties into their own work.

Our YWIB-Seattle team would like to thank the wonderful Seattle Aquarium Connections Program for helping to make this event happen, our fantastic panelists for sharing their advice, and of course, all the students who brought their infectious enthusiasm!


Tags:  2019  Seattle 

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WIB-Atlanta: Girl Scouts Super STEM Expo, October 26, 2019

Posted By Claire Jarvis, Friday, November 1, 2019

On Saturday, October 26, 2019, YWIB-Atlanta volunteers partnered with the Georgia Intellectual Property Alliance (GIPA) to host a booth as exhibitors at the Girl Scouts Super STEM Expo held at the Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta, GA. Roughly 600 girl scouts and their families attended the STEM expo.

The booth consisted of several activities to inspire girls to think like an inventor and consider a career in STEM. The activities demonstrated that science and invention are everywhere...even in makeup! The Girl Scouts learned about intellectual property via patents, trademarks, and innovation. Participants were asked to "think like an inventor". What does it mean to be an inventor? Why invent something? Where does inspiration come from? Are you meeting a need? Solving a problem? The girls also learned about the importance of trial and error in creating the best product, finding the right packaging for a product, creating and protecting the brand, trademarks, and design.

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There were three tables that collectively made up the "Science of Makeup". The first table showcased makeup patents, trademarks and related items including patents for the eyelash curler, compact, and lipstick tube. Participants also learned about female inventors, including the founder of Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low. Juliette Gordon Low had two patents: one for a liquid container to use in trash cans, and a design patent for a badge shaped like a “Trefoil” which symbolizes the three parts to the Girl Scout Promise. Dr. Angelika Domschke, a local scientist and inventor, was present and displayed plaques for her three patents on various types of contact lenses.

The second table featured information on two clean and local makeup brands – The Clove + Hallow makeup lines. A representative from Aillea, a clean makeup boutique in Atlanta, was in attendance to discuss the innovative makeup lines and the local women who created them. Participants also learned about sustainability and the importance of creating "clean makeup".

At the third table, participants took part in a hands-on "extreme wear" lipstick trial. This activity showcased the scientific process. Participants were first asked to hypothesize how long lipstick will stay on. Volunteers helped the girls apply lipstick via a cotton swab and handed out the experiment logs for participants to blot their lips on and record their results and observations.

Overall, it was a fun and successful day learning about the science behind makeup! 


Tags:  2019  Atlanta 

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WIB-San Francisco Bay Area: Young Women In Bio - Curious about how embryos (babies) develop?, September 25, 2019

Posted By Tanvi Sinha, Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Young Women In Bio (YWIB)-San Francisco Bay Area is continuing to partner with College Track to bring hands-on STEM experiences to young women. Last year, YWIB volunteers led by Dr. Tanvi Sinha, a cell and developmental biologist from UCSF, hosted a successful event at College Track, Oakland that used chick embryos to teach about developmental biology. On September 25, 2019, YWIB brought a similar event to the College Track San Francisco branch, again led by Dr. Sinha. Sarah Odeh helped organize and Dr. Anne de Bruyn Kops assisted at the event. 

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Five 11th-grade girls participated in the event which Dr. Sinha began by briefly introducing the girls to YWIB.  Dr. Sinha then explained the stages of embryonic development using a short slide presentation.  She described the process in humans vs. animals, showing what the stages look like and emphasizing that many genes involved in development are shared among species. The girls quickly became engaged, asking questions, and sharing relevant information they had learned in school. The students were so quick to recognize the similarities between equivalent developmental stages in different species that a matching game that had been planned to prompt this was bypassed, allowing for more time to dissect the embryos. 

Dr. Sinha provided fertilized chicken eggs at different stages and demonstrated how to crack the eggs into weigh boats to examine the embryos. The girls enthusiastically cracked numerous eggs each and compared the developmental stages of the embryos with those on the introductory slide show.  They shared their impressions and examined each other’s embryos. Not knowing what stage they would find in each egg added to the fun and promoted interaction among the students. Questions from the girls led to an interesting discussion of how the study of developmental biology applies to disease and we briefly mentioned the availability of summer research internships and the fact that a STEM background can lead to many different careers.

The five students who participated in the event provided enthusiastic feedback.  Most felt that the level of the activity and presentation was just right and were eager to participate in other events. The students reported that they enjoyed the hands-on aspect of the event. They liked being able to crack the eggs themselves and observe development first hand as well as learning about different stages of development and the similarities between species. Suggestions for ways to improve the event included a field trip and more time for questions and discussion. 

YWIB‐San Francisco Bay Area is grateful to College Track ‐ San Francisco for highlighting the importance of STEM for young girls and providing an opportunity for us to share our experience and love of science. We thank Michael Bluing for helping us arrange the event and look forward to future programs with College Track. 

Tags:  2019  San Francisco 

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WIB-Seattle: Learn to Code a Talking Robot with Young Women In Bio-Seattle at the Microsoft Store!, September 28, 2019

Posted By Lauren Metoyer, Friday, October 11, 2019

Young Women In Bio-Seattle partnered with the Microsoft Store on September 28, 2019, to host a hands-on introductory coding workshop for middle school and high school students. After learning about the fundamental skills needed to code, students used the “Ohbot The Robot” app to arrange blocks of code that programmed the Ohbot app simulator to move and speak on their tablets. Students received instant feedback from the app simulator, then were able to plug the real-life Ohbot into their tablets and watch their code come to life! The students learned through experience that extreme attention to detail is critical to coding and required in order to sync Ohbot’s lip movements with speech. What was the main takeaway for students after this activity? “I should do more coding because it’s fun!”

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With their newfound appreciation for the basics of coding, the group then heard from Kerry Bosworth (Senior Partner Technical Lead, Microsoft) as she spoke about making a career in the rapidly changing industry of computer science. Bosworth emphasized that the most important skill you can have is problem-solving, and illustrated problem-solving techniques by inviting students to solve several word problems and puzzles as a group. The key to solving a problem, Bosworth said, is having the confidence to slow down and think your way through it: the answer will present itself. She left students with three pieces of advice. First, never stop coding; second, never stop reading; and third, practice public speaking whenever you can.

Overall, this event was a fun, insightful, and fantastic success! Thank you so much to the students who attended, the Microsoft Store for hosting the first YWIB-Seattle event of the 2019-2020 school year, and our fabulous guest speaker Kerry Bosworth.

Tags:  2019  Seattle 

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WIB-RTP: Young Women In Bio Presents: Biogen's "Back to School" Event, September 12, 2019

Posted By Kaitlyn Bacon, Tuesday, October 8, 2019

On September 12, Young Women In Bio-RTP visited Biogen for the annual “Back to School” event. 22 middle school-aged girls attended the event along with three YWIB volunteers. The event began with a discussion led by Amanda Marvelle on chromatographic separations and how chromatography is used every day at Biogen when manufacturing therapies. The girls learned that chromatography is a method used to separate, isolate, and purify components of mixtures.

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To complement the discussion, the girls did a hands-on experiment in pairs to learn how chromatography can be used to separate the different dyes in grape Kool-Aid. Next, the girls heard an inspirational talk from Dr. Adriana Rimesso, who discussed her journey to becoming a scientist starting with her childhood in rural Mexico and ending with her scientific research experiences in the US and other countries. After, the girls were given a tour of the Biogen campus with stops at the analytical labs, quality control labs, and the manufacturing site.

The girls were very curious during the tour, asking many questions about the equipment they saw and relating what they saw to their science class as well as their relative’s jobs. In the manufacturing area, the girls were able to observe 2,000-liter bioreactors as well as the purification suites used to produce antibody therapies. The event ended with a pizza party where the girls had the opportunity to talk to female scientists who work at Biogen to learn about the day to day life of scientists.

This event was also special because we had around 16 girls attend the event from UNC Pembroke Project 3C’s Indigenous Girls in Stem program. The group traveled from Robeson County and surrounding counties for the event. (Thank you for traveling so far to attend our event.)

Special thanks to all the Biogen employees who volunteered their time to put on another great event and Amanda Marvelle, the Biogen Community Lab Leader, who helped plan and organize the event.

Tags:  2019  RTP 

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WIB-Atlanta: YWIB-Atlanta at Saint Philip AME STEMS Fair as Exhibitor, August 24, 2019

Posted By Dan Cui, Wednesday, August 28, 2019

YWIB-Atlanta attended the 12th annual Saint Philip AME Church’s STEMS Career Fair (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math & Service) as an exhibitor.  The 11 YWIB volunteers had a great time meeting roughly 100 families while showcasing two demonstrations corresponding to famous women in science. The demonstrations included flower dissection for Maria Silbylla Merian and strawberry DNA extraction for Rosalind Franklin.


The purpose of this fair is to expose K-12 students to S.T.E.M. careers through hands-on activities with professionals in science, engineering, and math, as well as a variety of technical careers.  St. Philip’s Resource Ministry is working to make sure middle and high school students are exposed to careers to encourage their interest in pursuing S.T.E.M. opportunities. 

Backpacks with school supplies are given to all registered students and free workshops on college planning and financial aid are available for parents.

YWIB-Atlanta is proud to be a part of this annual event.

Tags:  2019  Atlanta 

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WIB-RTP: Young Women In Bio Tour of Duke University’s Regenerative Medicine Labs, July 27, 2019

Posted By Kaitlyn Bacon, Tuesday, August 13, 2019

On July 27, labs from the Duke University Regeneration Next initiative hosted 33 participants from Young Women In Bio RTP. The Regeneration Next Initiative brings together researchers from across Duke’s campus that focus on regeneration research for basic science, engineering, and clinical applications. Many of the labs study regeneration in different model organisms. In each lab, the girls learned how different model organisms can be used to gain insight into human disease and biological function. The girls were able to visit five different labs during their visit, including the Sherwood, Fox, Poss, Capel, and Bursac labs. 

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The Sherwood lab uses the model organism C.elegans, a type of nematode, in their research to study cancer and tissue remodeling as well as stem cell interactions. When visiting the Sherwood Lab, the girls were given a brief lesson on C.elegan biology by Dr.Sherwood and then had the opportunity to look at C.elegans under the microscope. The girls learned how green fluorescent protein (GFP) can be used in imaging as a marker for specific cell types or a reporter for gene expression. 

The Fox lab studies Drosophila (fruit flies) to understand tissue repair mechanisms. The girls got hands-on experience looking at Drosophila under the microscope and describing the physical features they saw. The girls began by differentiating between female and male flies. The tip of male flies is dark and rounded while females have a light-colored, pointed tip. After, they moved on to find flies exhibiting other common physical traits. Next, the girls were challenged to use Mendelian genetics to find flies to mate that would result in specific genetic traits. This activity helped the girls learn how traits are inherited from one generation to the next. 

The Poss lab uses zebrafish to study morphogenesis and injury-induced regeneration of several tissues. In the Poss lab, the girls were able to observe Zebrafish in their tank and compared the physical differences between the fish. They learned how Zebrafish can be genetically manipulated to study different biological functions. The girls were also able to use a microscope to look at Zebrafish under the microscope, looking specifically at heart function. 

The Capel Lab studies turtles and mice to understand sex determination and organogenesis as well as cell differentiation. The girls were able to look at turtle embryos that were recovered from eggs at different stages of development and began to understand what causes turtles to be male or female. They also looked at organ tissue at different stages of development under the microscope. The graduate students from this lab also provided a great overview of what it means to be a female scientist! 

The Bursac lab studies cardiac and skeletal muscle tissue engineering therapies as well as the differentiation of stem cells into striated muscle cells. The girls were provided an overview of how the heart works and what can be done to repair damage to the heart. The graduate students shared how they are trying to develop a cellular-based patch that can be put on damaged areas of the heart to restart cell growth in damaged areas. The girls were able to look at cardiac cells the lab had grown by differentiating stem cells. The girls really enjoyed observing the cells beat like a real heart! 

We would like to thank all of the labs for taking time out of their schedules to plan and host very informative tours of their labs. Special thanks to Amy Dickson for helping planning this event and recruiting labs to join the event. 

Tags:  2019  RTP 

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WIB-Seattle: GET READY TO ROCK! Girls Inc. Dig Into Geology with the BurkeMobile & Young Women In Bio-Seattle, May 24th, 2019

Posted By Lauren Metoyer , Monday, August 5, 2019

The Seattle Chapter of Young Women In Bio partnered with the Burke Museum to bring a paleontology-themed event to Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest. This event took place at Seahurst Elementary School in Burien, WA on Friday, May 24th, 2019. 

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The Burke Museum BurkeMobile is a traveling program that brings educational and interactive Mini Museums to schools and communities across Washington State. For this event, twenty Girls Inc. students, grades two through six, participated in the BurkeMobile’s “Dig In!” program. 

The students at this event were immersed in the Mesozoic, Paleozoic, and Cenozoic Eras as BurkeMobile educators set up artifacts, facilitated hands-on activities, and answered questions about fossils and paleontology.  After an introduction about geological history from Burke educators and a snack break, the students guided themselves through the exhibits while being encouraged to ask questions. The girls stepped into the boots of a paleontologist and were able to observe and touch fossils, examine specimens under microscopes, interact with a dinosaur thigh bone, and even dig for fossils! Throughout this event, both Burke educators and YWIB-Seattle volunteers helped facilitate this hands-on learning and answered any questions.

As the students moved through the exhibits, one student excitedly announced she was going to be a scientist, and others practiced the scientific behaviors of note-taking and documentation. 

This unique experience brought a Mini Museum to students living far away from the Burke Museum, and everyone had a blast on this exciting journey through geologic time with the BurkeMobile! 

Tags:  2019  Seattle 

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WIB-Seattle: Careers in Biotechnology: (Young Women In Bio) A Panel Event for IATRIX21 Club, January 14, 2019

Posted By Lauren Metoyer , Tuesday, July 30, 2019

On January 14, 2019, Young Women In Bio-Seattle hosted “Careers in Biotechnology: A Panel Event for IATRIX21 Club” at Mountlake Terrace High School. Thirty students attended to learn more about careers in the field of biotechnology. The panelists were Lauren Ryan (Senior Mechanical Engineer at Microsoft Research), Anna Rashevsky (International Regulatory Affairs Specialist at NanoString Technologies), and Sarah Warren (Director of Advanced Applications at NanoString Technologies).



First, the speakers discussed the formal education and experience required for the panelists’ respective positions. Sarah Warren told students that she loved science because “it’s an opportunity to go out and discover.” She also discussed how a failed entrepreneurial enterprise ultimately formed her future successes. Lauren Ryan spoke about sexism in STEM fields and how the students can overcome this to pursue what they really love to do. Anna spoke about her lifelong love of science and her transition from bench science to regulatory affairs. 

Additionally, the panelists highlighted the importance of mentors. They encouraged the students to expand their definition of a mentor to include their peers, friends, and teachers. They encouraged the students to be bold about approaching potential mentors, as mentors are often enthusiastic about helping those earlier in their careers.


During the Q&A session, students asked about specific challenges the panelists have faced in their careers and if having doubts about one’s career path is normal. Also, the students inquired about the availability of internships for high school students. The panelists noted that these opportunities are limited for high school students, but noted that job shadowing is an excellent way to gain experience and insight into potential careers. All three panelists agreed that pursuing a career in STEM, especially for women, is an exciting path to pursue. 

Tags:  2019  Seattle 

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