On the evening of Thursday, April 6, STRIDE Program Coordinator, Dr. Jennifer McCauley and STRIDE trainees, Adelle Molina and Emily Markowitz partnered with Sachem Central School District to present Science Training and Research to Inform DEcisions (STRIDE) to the children of Wenonah Elementary School in Lake Grove, New York. Wenonah’s annual science fair, “Invention Convention,” celebrates the innovative concepts of children in Kindergarten through Fifth Grade. Adelle, who had an intense interest in science since childhood, knew from an early age that she would one day be a scientist. Throughout the night, crowds of potential future scientists surrounded both trainees and listened intently as they discussed their research in terms that they could understand.
Both Adelle and Emily are graduate students within the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) at Stony Brook University, working within the lab of Dr. Janet Nye. Their research interests are with varying marine life—including fish and crabs—and the way climate change affects these species. The STRIDE trainees brought along many specimens of preserved fish, including a barracuda and a jar of freshly-hatched baby fish. Children and parents alike were very eager to examine the fish and asked many questions, which both students were more than happy to answer. “It was really great for the children to have an opportunity to meet two female scientists. Experiences like this may very well encourage other little girls to pursue their love for science,” said one of the parents attending the event.
STRIDE aims to provide scientists with the ability to effectively communicate with non-scientists. Within all sectors of industry and government, effective decision making depends upon scientists having the ability to interpret data and communicate results in a way that supports the decision-making process. Public engagements such as this event offer STRIDE students an opportunity to discuss their research to a lay audience.