QBio-EDGE started in 2020. We are an outreach organization open to volunteers from the QCB Institute and the greater UCLA community. Our group was initiated and driven by graduate students and postdocs from UCLA laboratories. The goal of our organization is to connect with local Los Angeles schools to (1) promote racial and ethnic inclusion and diversity in academia, (2) expose teenage students to quantitative biology research and opportunities in STEM, (3) engage with people of different backgrounds that make up the racially diverse LA community, and (4) develop inclusive teaching and science communication skills.
In the past school years, we have hosted several modules at Synergy Quantum Academy and Verbum Dei High Schools with 10th-12th graders. 2020-2021 events took place during remote teaching and were designed to be engaging over Zoom, while 2021-2022 events took place inside the high school classrooms. We are currently planning workshops for the 2022-2023 school year and are seeking volunteers who are interested in getting involved with organization and presentation of interactive quantitative biology workshops. Volunteers may participate in as many or as few modules as they wish.
We are also eager to establish partnerships with additional schools in the upcoming year and to make our workshop materials related to topics in computational biology available below for all to utilize. If you are interested in working with us, please email email@example.com.
College and Career Panel:
February 2022 at Synergy Quantum Academy High School
A group of trainees from UCLA presented information about college, educational paths, and career options, particularly in science. Trainees also served as a group panel, fielding questions from students.
March 2022 at Synergy Quantum Academy High School
We showed students the basic concepts and calculations of GWAS and how to use computational tools to find correlations between diseases, phenotypes, and genetic mutation sites. We also led students to explore related social issues and ethics. Through our courses, students gained a better grasp of genetics, feel more confident discussing genetic issues with others, and develop a deeper understanding of using computational tools to study biology questions. The students become aware of the flaws inherent to GWAS and considered the influence of GWAS in the context of EDI.
May 2022 at Verbum Dei High School
We presented the GWAS module from above at another high school. The students became more interested in life sciences through our course.
We have established a mentoring system with a class at Synergy Quantum Academy High School. Each student is paired with a mentor from QBio-EDGE for monthly meetings throughout the school year to discuss college, science, research, and any other questions the students have.
Classroom module in virology and immunology: Students learn and present about viruses and viral life cycles and are given a case study to identify a viral infection through immunological assays. (Resources)
Commentary pre-print on scientist trainee-run community outreach: (Paper)
2020-2021 Modules: (Overview)
- Outreach Training: (Presentation)
- Career Panel: Members of QBio-EDGE inform about the diversity of educational paths towards scientific careers, guide students’ career reflections, and answer students’ questions about science education and research. (Resources)
- Virology and Immunology: Students learn and present about viruses and viral life cycles and are given a case study to identify a viral infection through immunological assays. (Resources)
- Epidemiological Modeling: Students modify a mathematical model of disease spread (SIR) under five different conditions to determine an appropriate public health policy response. (Resources)
Commentary on scientist trainee-run community outreach: Four guiding principles for effective trainee-led STEM community engagement through high school outreach (Pre-Print)