At the high school level
Teaching renewable energy and biofuels in Atlanta–area high schools.
Each summer, we bring a different chemistry teacher to develop a lesson plan to teach chemistry concepts in the context of renewable energy and biofuels for 10th grade and AP chemistry. The lesson plans are freely available to other teachers via WebQuest.
Involving high school students in synthetic biology research
It has been shown that a lack of high school preparation and educational experiences is a major factor for women and underrepresented minorities who leave STEM majors in college. Thus, training high school students in STEM fields should have a positive impact in the number of students applying to college and pursuing STEM majors. Therefore, each summer we host three high school students to come to our laboratory to conduct synthetic biology research for four weeks.
At the middle school level
Inspiring young students to explore STEM topics
Throughout the year, lab members take part in outreach programs for younger students and their families. We help combine science with everyday items and concepts to start getting kids excited about science and other STEM fields at an early age. Example programs the lab has helped with include Hands On Future Tech and Latino GoSTEM education day.
At the undergraduate level
Providing undergraduate research opportunities to encourage students to stay in STEM majors.
There is significant evidence that students who participate in undergraduate research are more likely to stay in STEM majors. Therefore, the Peralta-Yahya laboratory has been training undergraduate students since its inception, and, in our two years at Georgia Tech, we have trained five undergraduate students with majors in chemistry, biology, and chemical and biomedical engineering. If you are interested in undergraduate research e-mail Prof. Peralta-Yahya. Please include in your e-mail your CV, transcript and a short statement on why you want to do undergraduate research.