1. The Freshman Research Initiative (FRI)

FRI is a groundbreaking, faculty-initiated program designed to transform undergraduate education by placing first-year students into advanced research labs at the beginning of their educational experience. Taught by a Ph.D.-level Research Educator (RE; see attached development plan) and bolstered by peer mentoring, each FRI stream offers freshmen the chance to work on real-world research problems.

2. “Shadow a Scientist” Program for Middle School Students

According to the National Research Council, all students should get involved in research experience “as early as practical in their education”. A key goal is to inspire and cultivate their interests in science at the early-education stage. Such experience becomes urgent and valuable for middle-school students, particular for home-schooled students. We have been actively involved in the “Shadow a Scientist” program supported by UT Austin, Freshman Research Initiative (FRI), and institutional grants from NSF and HHMI. In this program, we have hosted 12 middle-school students (25% of them are home-schooled, and 1/3 of them are minority) and developed interesting scientific experiments to work with these guests.  Please see the details (https://iteamchicago.wordpress.com/)

Middle school studnets in "Shadow a Scientist" program

3. Volunteer of Austin regional science festival

The Austin Energy Regional Science Festival is one of Texas’ largest regional science fairs with almost 3,000 students from 3rd through 12th grade. It encourages and rewards innovative student research and provides scientists, engineers and other professionals a chance to volunteer in the community. I have been volunteered as a judge for plant biology for elementarily school including schools from center of Austin and the home-schooled students. The students present the experiment logically with rational, experiment design, material and method, what they have done and conclusion.