UCLA - Teaching Assistant
Upper Division: Cosmology
Upper Division: Stellar Atmospheres
Upper Division: Radiation and Fluids
Upper Division: Statistical Mechanics
Lower Division: Life in the Universe
Lower Division: Black Holes and Cosmic Catastrophes
Cal State, Northridge - Teaching Associate
Lower Division: Electricity and Magnetism Lab
Lower Division: Observational Astronomy Lab
In an attempt to preserve scientific interest between high school and college, I lead a summer research workshop for high school students. Our goal is to help students of underrepresented groups pursue scientific career paths. To achieve this goal we seek out science teacher from Title 1 schools and encourage their students attend our summer program. Once a week for 8 weeks, we provide students with hands-on training in real life research projects. Using a research grade telescope (Nickel 1-meter at Lick) the students remotely perform authentic data collection on nearby stellar sources. This data is then used in activities such as program coding, research troubleshooting, data analysis, and preparing result presentations. Through these accomplishments, students feel encouraged to explore a career in science. Furthermore, we are often grated the opportunity to interact with the parents of these students and justify why science is a meaningful career choice.
More recently, I have taken a leadership role in the Exploring Your Universe event held by the UCLA physical sciences departments. Here we encourage local schools from around the Los Angeles area to attend a daylong event, where complex topics in science are explained through science fair type demonstrations. This year our attendance exceeded 7,000 people. Reaching such a large number of people is helpful in exposing families to science and encouraging public interaction with people who work in the field. We use this opportunity to demonstrate that a science should not be feared, but rather embraced.
I am also a member of the Exoplanet Explorers team. This project allows citizen scientists to get involved in real research by helping identify transiting planets in the enormous K2 light curve dataset. Several meaningful discoveries have been made with the help and collaboration of interested citizens.