Skype A Scientist

On Monday the 18th of November, the 8th grade science class ‘talked’ via Skype to PhD candidate Melina Giakoumis from City College in New York city. Ms. Giakoumis studies starfish genetics on the east coast of the United States and the east coast of Europe. She is using genetic profiling to study how the starfish are changing over time. Starfish are a keystone species, meaning that when they are present in an ecosystem, that system is much healthier and more diverse. The students are studying how environmental conditions and genetics are linked together in an ecosystem, so this talk was right on point. Earlier this year the 8th grade class talked to PhD candidate Samantha Summer from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. That talk was mostly about how chemists study new molecules and about coming from a small town and going on to college for an advanced degree. Both Ms. Summer and Ms. Giakoumis talked to the students about being in a STEM career. The 7th grade had a presentation from Dr. Quinn Sorenson from UC Berkeley about post fire reforestation programs and ecosystems in general. At the time the 7th graders were studying how living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem interact. This program is free from Skype and is called ‘Skype a Scientist’.

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