News-Herald Features Grad Students Who Make Science Fun for Greenback Sixth Graders

The (Lenoir City) News-Herald recently featured several UT graduate students who visited Greenback School this month to teach sixth-grade students about science through a series of workshops related to ecosystems, DNA and termites. The sixth-grade students rotated between three workshops, while working in groups and performing hands-on tasks, which included extracting DNA from bananas, watching termites follow different ink colors and building miniature ecosystems.

The program is part of an outreach committee under a UT graduate student organization called graduate researchers in ecology, behavior and evolution.

“The whole process was really fun for me,” said Miranda Chen, a graduate teaching assistant in ecology and evolutionary biology. “I enjoy teaching. I was the one who was able to put together the curriculum. It was nice to brainstorm with the team on how we wanted to teach in the 40 minutes we had, which presented a time crunch. I enjoyed interacting with students during the day of the activity, and I loved hearing what they had to say. I would never anticipate what some of them would think.” Read the story online.