Bringing chemistry to the community is an important goal for the Prescher Lab.
There is no denying that science outreach is important. In addition to improving science communication and public understanding, outreach activities give us a chance to get people from various backgrounds (including football players!) excited about chemistry. It’s also a lot of fun and extremely rewarding! We are actively involved in several outreach programs around campus, with the goal of engaging young minds and inspiring the next generation of scientists.
UCI LEAPS Program
Each year, our lab participates in the UCI LEAPS (Laboratory Experiments and Activities in Physical Sciences) program, which offers local middle school students a “A Day at College” experience. The program intends to inspire younger students to pursue higher education in the physical sciences, and provides them with an opportunity to interact with scientists in the field. Students spend time in active chemistry and physics research laboratories performing hands-on experiments that are supplemented with demonstrations from participating lab members.
UCI Chemistry Outreach Program
We are also involved in the UCI Chemistry Outreach Program, which focuses on sparking interests in chemistry in K-12 students. During these visits, volunteers from various labs perform general chemistry demonstrations for the students, such as elephant’s toothpaste and the flame test. Each year the program reaches out to more than 3,000 students in over two dozen schools across Orange County.