Outreach

#WakandanSTEM: Teaching the evolution of skin color

Estimated reading time: 3 mins  (608 words)

February has been a good month.

I got featured on my friend Alexis’ blog for her: ‘Sully Asks A Scientist’ series.

My birthday brought me some major wardrobe upgrades (thanks to my partner’s great taste):

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This jacket ❤

And, most importantly, I went to see Black Panther. TWICE. And it may have resulted in me acting a little extra since…

 

Plenty of people have talked about how amazing this movie is and there’s a lot of great analysis on the story and aesthetics.

But what I want to talk about is the impact it’s had.

The memes, the outfits, the pure joy!

Black Panther has gotten so many of us to dream about a glorious Afrofuturistic world and I think that’s just magical.

I for one, want to see #WakandanSTEM happen.

I want Shuri to be our patron saint.

 

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Nothing but respect for MY princess

 

Next time someone asks me what I’m doing after this PhD, I’m gonna say I’m applying to be a professor at the University of Wakanda.

If I were a professor at U of Wakanda, I would, of course, be teaching Biological Anthropology and about 60% of my curriculum on Human Variation would be African Diversity (instead of the traditional 0%).

Continue reading “#WakandanSTEM: Teaching the evolution of skin color”

Outreach

How doing outreach can teach you what you have to offer the world

Estimated reading time 6 minutes (1049 words)

Like many other grad students, I’ve been discouraged from doing outreach.

“You should be working on something you can publish”

“It’s noble but it’s not going to help your career”

“You can do that later in your career”

I never understood this attitude. If we’re not communicating our science and educating others,  who are we doing this for?

But unfortunately, a lot of people get pushback from professors when it comes to outreach.

It’s seen as a nice little activity that you do on the side when you have time and add a line to your CV.

But it can be so much more than that. It can change a kid’s life and give them inspiration to do something they would have never considered otherwise.

It can also change your life, as a grad student.

I didn’t personally have much experience with outreach until this last year of graduate school when I taught in a summer camp.  I honestly didn’t expect much from it, besides that it would be fun to talk to some kids.

But after spending a few days with these kids, I can tell you that they did more for me than I could have possibly done for them.

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The amazing scientists from this summer’s Finding Your Roots camp

It was the first time I felt I could make a difference, that I had something to offer. Instead of just sitting locked away in my little ivory tower, I could make these kids laugh, teach them something and inspire them to be the scientists I knew could be.

After this experience, I knew that I wanted to make this a permanent part of my academic life. I didn’t just want to do science, I wanted to share science.

Continue reading “How doing outreach can teach you what you have to offer the world”

Outreach, Science

Next level science camp: teaching kids about their genetics & genealogy

Estimated reading time: 3 mins (610 words)

I’ve watched enough American TV to know that summer camp is a thing in the USA.

I was introduced to it through the classic twin movies: It Takes Two and The Parent Trap.

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These movies have given me the false expectation that you always meet your twin at summer camp, though…

And the wondrous thing about American summer camps is that they don’t just come in one flavor! There’s band camp, sports camp, adventure camp, space camp, science camp, anything-you-can-come-up-with-camp!

And this summer, I got to see kids doing a very special type of science camp – one that was about genetics and genealogy.

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