STEM Broader Impacts Fair broadens audience

Faculty, post-docs, graduate students, and undergraduate students are invited to explore outreach opportunities

Chemistry graduate student, William Carpenter, began volunteering with Artificein 2015 and designing electronics activities for kids. He is now a volunteer coordinator for the Woodlawn community tech center and will be recruiting other volunteers at the 2018 STEM Broader Impacts Fair

The STEM Broader Impacts Fair gathers science-focused organizations like Artifice that are seeking volunteers and scientist support. The fair began as a way to connect graduate students with local outreach opportunities, but for the first time this fall, all undergraduate and graduate students, post-docs, and faculty are invited to connect with the organizations.

“We are excited to open this event to all interested members of the university,” said Karin LeClair, dean of students in the physical sciences division. “Scientists at every level can make an impact on the community.”

The STEM Broader Impacts Fair will take place on October 11, 2018 from 12:00-2:00 p.m. in the atrium of the Eckhardt Research Center, 5640 S. Ellis Ave. The event is sponsored by the Physical Sciences Division, Biological Sciences Division, Institute for Molecular Engineering, Office of Civic Engagement, and Office of Research & National Laboratories- Research Development Support.

The volunteer opportunities range from educational outreach to career preparation and research support. Participating organizations include After School Matters, Argonne National Laboratory, the Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum, UChicago Science Olympiad, and more.

“Volunteering has turned out to be a creative outlet and a way to learn new technical skills in a low-pressure environment,” Carpenter said. “I had close to no electronics experience coming into graduate school, but now, I’ve been able to develop my own skills and watch my students grow into independent problem solvers.”