Learning and discovery start very early in a student’s life. Doing science can start early, too.
I work with high school and college students on bite-sized science projects. These projects give young scientists a structured environment where they can learn to:
- Encounter unfamiliar processes
- Ask interesting questions about those processes
- Figure out what kind of data will answer those questions
- Squeeze answers out of real, messy data
- Share their results with their peers
In 2015 I was a founding member of the Chilean Young Physicists’ Tournament. We worked with twenty-seven high school students during a month-long school strike. The students worked in teams to build gliders, solder LEDs, and learn basic fluid dynamics, then presented their results in a final tournament. The program is now in its third year and is hosted by the Universidad de Santiago de Chile.
At the University of Colorado, I have mentored several undergraduate field assistants through the Undergraduate Research Program and the UNAVCO Iris program. My first student, Clea Bertholet, recently completed her honors thesis on snow bedforms.
I’ve presented regular outreach lectures for third-grade classes, high school students, and public lectures.
In the last two years, I’ve begun writing about science on Quora. This question-and-answer website gives me an opportunity to hear the questions that most interest the public, and answer them for an audience of a couple thousand followers.
Finally, I organize introductory backpacking and winter sports trips through the MIT Outing Club and the CU Hiking Club. Winter and wilderness are beautiful – I’d like to get everybody out in them!