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YWIB-RTP Hosted a Workshop for High-School Girls Interested in Studying STEM in College, September 29, 2018

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Thursday, May 23, 2019
Updated: Thursday, May 23, 2019

WIB-RTP hosted a workshop on September 29, 2018, for high school girls interested in studying STEM in college. The workshop featured two presentations and a panel discussion. Tracy Jenkins, Ph.D. (tracyjenkins coaching LLC) presented on leadership and professional growth. The girls worked through several exercises on identifying their strengths and learning how to showcase their strengths with others through pair activities. Tracy also introduced the group to informational interviews as a way to explore interests at all stages of career development. Allison Medlin (North Carolina State University) gave a brief description of the Goodnight Scholars program, a scholarship program at NCSU focused on students with interest in STEM majors. Allison walked us through a description of the admissions process and fielded a number of questions about steps to take to present yourself as an attractive candidate as well as essay writing for college applications. The panel was a diverse group of women representing all stages of education and career development, as well as several of the RTP area universities and colleges.

Panelists included Liz Krewson, Ph.D. (Anderson Products of California), Doreen Grech, Ph.D. (Tudor Life Science Advisors), Hannah Reynolds (DVM/PhD student at NCSU), Jessica Lee (Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Ph.D. student at NCSU), Alissa Brown, MS (Ecology Ph.D. student at UNC), Devin Wyatt (Chemical & Paper Science Engineering major at NCSU), Isabella Ford (Physics major at UNC), Nabiha Kahn (Biochemistry major at Meredith College), and Caleigh Smith (Biology & Global Health major at Duke). Topics covered during the open panel discussion included choosing a major, opportunities for STEM majors in college, undergraduate research, and where to go after earning your undergraduate degree. 

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YWIB-RTP Visited the Community Lab at Biogen, September 19, 2018

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Thursday, May 23, 2019

On September 19, 2018, YWIB-RTP visited the Community Lab at Biogen. Biogen employees engaged with 6th and 7th grade young women to help get them excited about science. After a brief introduction to Biogen from Community Lab coordinator Amanda Marvelle, students heard Peter Stevenson describe why purification is important to Biogen’s work of making medicines. To visualize and demonstrate the purification process, students performed a hands-on lab separating the two food color molecules in grape Kool-Aid. One young woman described the process as “magical.” Students then listened to Daisy Santiago’s personal and inspirational story about overcoming life’s challenges.

Next, students took a tour to look through the windows of the analytical development lab, quality control chemistry lab, and 2K bioreactors. The program concluded with a pizza party where students and Biogen professionals chatted about careers in an informal setting. This event shows young women some of the different career options that are available at a biotechnology company like Biogen. After the tour while eating a slice of pepperoni pizza, one student stated: “I want to work here!”

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WIB-RTP YWIB: "Spring Into STEM™: Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Scientists," April 28, 2018

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Thursday, May 23, 2019

Spring Into STEM™: Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Scientists, a science outreach event for middle school girls, took place on April 28, 2018. The event was hosted by Young Women In Bio RTP (YWIB), Graduate Women In Science RT (GWIS), North Carolina State University’s Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC), and students from Meredith College. This was the second Spring Into STEM™ event hosted by YWIB RTP, and it was part of YWIB’s national festival around Spring into STEM.

When the students arrived, they received lab notebooks as well as BTEC’s lab coats, gloves, hair nets, and optional beard covers. Then they were treated to an afternoon of scientific activities, facilitated by volunteers from YWIB, GWIS, and Meredith College. 

The students attended “Slime Time”, where they made slime and learned about the properties of polymers that make up the slime. In “Infection Detection”, they exchanged fluids between test tubes to learn how infectious diseases can spread between people. During “Yeast Machine”, they observed how quickly carbon dioxide from a mixture of yeast and sugar blew up a balloon. During “Blue’s Clues: What’s In Your Drink?”, the students used chromatography to separate the red and blue dyes out of grape soda. Finally, during “Whatever Floats Your Boat”, the students built foil boats and used density calculations to determine how much cargo the boats could hold.

All of that science was a lot of work! So, the students took a break to attend a networking session. At the session, they had the chance to ask each other and volunteers questions about science and life, including “When did you decide you wanted to work in science?” and “If you could design a robot to do anything, what do you have the robot do?”.

The event ended with a keynote speech by Dr. Janice Coffey Swab, Professor of Biology emerita at Meredith College. Dr. Swab talked about her adventures studying plants around the world. She encouraged the students to never give up on their dreams and reminded them of their potential as tomorrow’s scientists. 

With that the students left, many still in their lab coats with cups of slime and balloons full of CO2 in hand, and potentially, with the promise of an exciting future in science on their minds.

A big thank you goes out to BTEC for hosting the event, YWIB RTP, GWIS RTP, and Meredith College volunteers for donating their time, and Harris Teeter, Nuventra Pharma Sciences, and IQVIA for their help in putting on the 2018 Spring into STEM™!

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WIB-RTP: A great way to kick off the New Year in RTP, January 24, 2018

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Thursday, May 23, 2019

On January 24, WIB-RTP chapter hosted it’s Kick Off 2018 Networking event. With close to 60 attendees, this was a great event that brought out professionals and students to meet someone new or reacquaint with old friends. Louise Giffin, RTP Chapter Chair, opened the event with a quick overview of future RTP events, including our February 21, 2018 workshop on grant writing. Lauren Lohmer, one of the Co-Chairs of YWIB, discussed future Young Women In Bio events. 

Overall the 2018 season looks to have plenty of events to keep everyone interested. Both ladies mentioned the importance of volunteers for WIB and YWIB, and that these fun events would not happen without them. If you are interested in playing a bigger role in the RTP Chapter please contact a member of the current leadership board to find how you can help.

 

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