Spreading a passion for science is the mission of Rockefeller’s science outreach programs, which extend the reach of our labs beyond our front gate. In our dedicated teaching lab, and in science classrooms throughout the city, our scientists engaged with over 2,500 New York City kids and teenagers in 2015.
At Rockefeller, we work to support science education across the city, and particularly in educationally underserved communities, with activities that engage students in hands-on workshops and stimulating talks and discussion. We also offer professional development programs in which science teachers are exposed to cutting-edge topics and creative teaching tools that will help them inspire a passion for bioscience in students of all ages.
Our Learning at the Bench (LAB) Experience classes are designed to engage middle- and high-school students and their teachers in genuine, modern-day bioscience research. Each group spends a half day learning basic lab tecniques and conducting human genetics experiments. Then Rockefeller educators engage the students in discussions about the ethical aspects of biomedical research and the future of science. After lunch, Rockefeller graduate students and postdocs speak about their personal research interests and career paths.
Other classes designed to reach underserved schools include our LAB Out Loud talk series and our LAB After-School Program, in which high-school students take field trips and conduct microbiome research. This year, they analyzed bacterial samples collected from library books.
Our annual Science Saturday program, held each spring, invites children and their parents to an all-day festival, at which some 25 Rockefeller scientists, including several of our most established researchers, conduct demonstrations and guide hands-on science activities.