Local middle school students have started coming to research laboratories on the UCI campus through a pilot program in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry that’s called “Science Saturdays.”
The goal is to broaden understanding of science and technology among minorities and the underprivileged to increase their participation in scientific study. The program, which has been designed using National Science Foundation (NSF) guidelines, is headed by Professor Markus W. Ribbe and his graduate students Megan Newcomb and Lee Rettberg.
The first Science Saturdays events welcomed students from the Santa Ana Unified School District, with the youngsters performing research activities in group settings under the supervision of School of Biological Sciences graduate students.
Though currently funded by Professor Ribbe, and Professor Andrej Luptak from the Department of Chemistry, the heads of the Science Saturdays program are working to submit a grant to the NSF to extend and broaden the initiative at UCI for 2018 and beyond.