S.T.E.A.M. Career Night

Jorge hopes to encourage students from a broad spectrum of interests to see that science isn't for the elite, or for people of certain groups and that an interest in science doesn’t lead to one career pathway but is full of niches. When you find your own niche, you can make a career out of it.  Jorge partnered with the Multi-Ethnic Engineering and Science Association (MESA) tutoring service in the College of Engineering to give 20 local, underrepresented youth and their parents the opportunity to interact with science professionals. The kids were led through demonstrations by various panel members including science writers, outreach and education researchers, and professors at the University of Iowa. Students had the opportunity to ask about the career paths and jobs of their demonstrators during a Q&A session. The parents received free English enhancement classes, where bilingual tutors worked on increasing their language skills that will be useful to improve science literacy. The children were provided free dinner courtesy of the College of Engineering and at the end of the two-night program students were given a book to take home that describes STEM projects they can do with household items as well as school supplies thanks to donations from UICCU and Blick arts.

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Author Bio(s): 
Jorge is a biology major and computer science minor who is currently conducting research in the Neiman lab, which uses New Zealand mud snails potamopyrgus antipodarum, to study questions of why sex is so common. He focuses on questions regarding the genetic consequences of asexuality and polyploidy, more specifically how transposable element proliferation and genomic expansions of histone and ribosomal DNA families are affected by transitions in ploidy and mode of reproduction. He uses genomic and bioinformatics approaches to study how these changes alter the genetic landscape of genomes. His future plans include pursuing a PhD in the biological sciences.
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