Every year, ASM offers small grants, up to $500, to members who are interested in organizing or participating in public science events in their communities.
Karen Bushaw-Newton (Northern Virginia Community College)
The NOVA "Night of Science" engaged children in the greater Northern Virginia K-12 community with an interest in STEM, sparking their curiosity and encouraging them to pursue a future as a STEM student, as well as a lifelong interest in science and education. Dr. Bushaw-Newton organized several microbiology-themed stations. Learn More about NOVA "Night of Science."
Chequita Brooks (Appalachian State University)
During the month of April, the North Carolina Science Festival hosted the NC SciMatch program, pairing middle-school educators with career scientists. Dr. Brooks ran an activity that showed 100 middle school students how SARS-CoV-2 can be measured in wastewater, helping students conceptualize how wastewater-based epidemiology can be used to track diseases in populations. See highlights from the NC Science Festival.
Jennifer Bennett (Otterbein University)
At this year's Center of Science and Industry Science Festival in Columbus, OH, Dr. Bennett helped organize a tent titled “Grossology: The Science of Icky, Sticky, Disgusting Things.” She and her students led participants through microbiology-specific experiences using microscopes set up with demo slides of “exciting” microbes, such as Daphnia, Euglena and filamentous algae. About the COSI Science Festival.
Rebekah Taylor (Frostburg State University)
Dr. Taylor and her team were part of a group that hosted 25 middle school students at the Frostburg State University STEM Summer Camp in June 2022. Students used educational kits to explore the use of biotechnology and CRISPR-Cas9 to engineer E. coli bacteria capable of survival on Mars. More information about STEM Summer Camp.
Mark Chee (University of Tennessee Southern)
Dr. Chee organized a film festival on the UT Southern campus that featured microbiology and epidemiology-themed films, including "The Spanish Flu—An Invisible Enemy," "The Trouble With Chicken" and "Why We Wash Our Hands." Each film was preceded by a short presentation from scientific experts who provided context, and was succeeded by a Q&A session that encouraged active reflection by the audience.
Rania Smeltz (Virginia Tech University)
Participating in the 2022 Virgina Tech Science Festival, Dr. Smeltz and her team had several microbiology-themed activities for participating K-12 students. These activities included microscopes to allow students to visualize certain bacteria on slides, as well as petri dishes that had been swabbed by different places on the Virginia Tech campus, daily commonly used items and washed vs. unwashed hands, to demonstrate the importance of handwashing. Read about the Virginia Tech Science Festival.