One mission of our lab is to make science more accessible to all people. We strive to teach others about the research we do, through hands-on activities and fun learning environments. We want to encourage a new generation of science-literate students to take on issues that are important to our heath and the health of our world.
Nebraska Wildlife Rehab - High School Science Academy Outreach, February 2018.
The Selmecki lab hosted ~30 high school students for a staged crime scene investigation. This investigation enabled us to provided students with a deeper understanding of the chemical structure of DNA, methods that we use to amplify DNA for analysis (the polymerase chain reaction), and methods that we use to visualize and compare DNA between individuals (gel electrophoresis).
"High School Science Academy aims to give Omaha high school students the opportunity to participate in college-level lectures and field/lab work, and nurture their interest in the biological sciences before leaving high school. Each month, students explore a different topic in the biological sciences. They participate in one full evening of lecture on a weeknight, followed by a half or full-day field or lab session on a weekend later in the month. All sessions are taught by university professors and are supervised by NWRI's education staff. Past topics have included entomology, parasitology, prairie ecology, pollinators, small mammal diversity, genetics, bat biology, and much more! Enrolled students also have the option to view the great sandhill crane migration in central Nebraska each March and to participate in a 5-day fieldwork program at UNL's Ceda int Biological Station in western Nebraska each summer.All materials are provided and students are served meals and snacks at every session. If students do not have transportation to and from sessions, it can be provided from school pick-up points at no charge."
To become a faculty mentor or become one of next year's students, click here to visit the Nebraska Wildlife Rehab website!
Science Booster Club - Outreach Events
Gifford Park Farmer's Market, Omaha Nebraska
The whole lab got involved this summer with the market up the street from campus. We provided a hands-on activity to describe the negative impact of CO2 emissions on ocean acidification. Being so far from the ocean makes this a sometimes distant issue for Nebraskan natives, but by seeing how quickly their own breath acidifies normal drinking water (tested with a pH strip), and touching mussels that have degraded in acidic water, the issue hits home.
Nebraska's Science Booster Club
In 2016 the Selmecki lab started the Nebraska Branch of the Science Booster Club
We are partnering with NCSE to teach about Evolution, Climate Change, and to raise money for classroom resources, click below for more information about each topic from the NCSE website:
Evolution: If nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution, then clearing up misconceptions is a necessary step toward understanding everything from ecology to human health. Find selected resources on evolution, creationism and education here.
Climate Change: Climate change is arguably the most pressing scientific issue in generations. How can we hope to meet the challenges of climate change if so few of us understand the basic science? Find selected resources on climate change science, education and denial here.
Classroom Resources: If you teach evolution or climate change, NCSE has gathered a wealth of clear, accurate, and helpful resources to put to use in your classroom.