On February 27, the Women in Science and Engineering Program hosted a field trip to the University of Arizona for 60 Alice Vail Middle School 7th graders who are currently participating in The Bio/Diversity Project. This field trip provided a unique opportunity to demystify the college experience by showing middle school students various college role models, demonstrating the accessibility of campus, and answering any lingering questions about who belongs at the University of Arizona. The program included a presentation from Dr. Katy Prudic, an Assistant Professor of Citizen and Data Science within the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, who shared her experience as a professor and researcher through an interactive activity; a UArizona student panel where undergraduate and graduate students were asked to share their journey as a college student, their relationship with the environmental sciences, and answer any questions from middle school students about achieving success in college; and a walking tour that highlighted some of incredible STEM buildings on main campus. For the culminating activity, middle schoolers participated in a variety of hands-on environmental science activities including: a tour of the Student Union rooftop greenhouse, exploring the campus arboretum, painting lifecycle mandalas, and creating sunprints.
The Bio/Diversity Project aims to get students excited about environmental science and support them along their educational journeys and into the workforce. We hope to see many of these students back on campus in about 5 years – next time, as UArizona students!