Part of AirUCI's mission is to share the results of our research with the general public by providing outreach opportunities. This is done in addition to the many papers we publish in scientific journals that reach the scientific community and the multiple presentations we give each year at high-level scientific conferences.
Summer Research Posts at AirUCI
Research opportunities in the summer are available for several community college faculty. Visiting faculty will work for 8 to 10 weeks with one of the AirUCI research groups and will participate fully in many aspects of the research. A stipend is available to support these visitors during their stay. For details, contact Melissa Sweet at 949-824-2628.
Summer Teacher Workshop in Environmental Chemistry
Chemistry Professor John "Mickey" Laux of Orange Coast College is a main organizer of our teacher workshop along with UCI Chemistry Professor and AirUCI PI Sergey Nizkorodov. Dr. Laux is seeing our results firsthand in his classes at OCC. One of his top three General Chemistry students out of 140 in Spring 2009 told him she was NOT a chemistry person in high school until she took a class with Valerie Thompson, one of the high school teachers who attended our 2007 workshop. Valerie was so motivating to this student that she changed her major to chemistry, and Valerie recommended that she take Mickey's class at OCC due to the impact of our program on Valerie's class syllabus. This is one of several anecdotes that illustrate how the dividends of our workshop are coming full circle and broadly impact 3000-4000 science students annually throughout the region—at least 35,000 students to date!
Watch Dr. Laux teach one of our classes
AirUCI researchers are available for local classroom presentations on topics related to atmospheric chemistry, such as air quality and how it can relate to climate change, indoor and outdoor air pollution, careers in chemistry, and environmental issues. See our News page for recent outreach events.
These presentations are ideal for classes in Chemistry, Environmental Science, or other grade 7-12 science courses. To arrange a classroom visit to your school or a tour of our labs, contact Melissa Sweet at 949-824-2628.
Past Outreach Events
On May 6, 2011, AirUCI hosted 21 high school science students and three of their teachers from Nova Academy in Santa Ana on a tour of our labs. We provided parking passes for their three vans and light refreshments after their tour. AirUCI Project Scientist Lisa Wingen organized the tour. View photos
AirUCI researchers Nicole Richards and Emily Bruns proctored a competitive exam funded by the Orange County chapter of the American Chemical Society at Cal-State Fullerton on April 30, 2011. High school students who score highest on the test receive recognition by ACS.
AirUCI PIs Sergey Nizkorodov and Michael Kleinman served as judges at the 30th Annual Irvine Unified School District Science Fair on March 2, 2011, held at University High School.
On November 13, 2010, Prof. Nizkorodov and Amanda McMillan from his research group participated in UCI's Future of Science Conference at the Beckman Center. They demonstrated research projects during their hour-plus session and promoted AirUCI's Summer Teacher Workshop. AirUCI PI Bill Cooper was the keynote speaker at this event.
On November 5, 2010, AirUCI graduate researchers Nicole Richards and Emily Bruns gave a presentation at Lincoln Elementary School in Santa Ana, CA on issues related to animal habitat destruction caused by global warming.
AirUCI graduate researchers Emily Bruns and Nicole Richards participated along with Prof. Nizkorodov in the Ask-A-Scientist Night, held at Rancho San Joaquin Middle School in Irvine, CA on October 20, 2010.
On June 3, 2010, AirUCI graduate researchers Emily Bruns and Nicole Richards gave a presentation to an Advanced Placement Chemistry class at Northwood High School in Irvine.
In April, 2010, AirUCI graduate researcher Nicole Richards participated in a graduate student panel on the UCI campus sponsored by UC Leads, which provides fellowships across the UC system for undergraduate students from communities that are underrepresented in science education.
On July 25, 2008 Girls Inc. sponsored by the SAGE program brought 65 girls aged 12-15 to UCI for a day of science. UCI Iota Sigma Pi chapter treasurer—and AirUCI researcher—Nicole Barrentine worked to organize a kaleidoscope event with funding provided by Iota Sigma Pi and AirUCI. The girls got to build their very own kaleidoscopes using materials purchased by Iota Sigma Pi and in the process were introduced to the science of optics.
On May 20th, 2008 AirUCI graduate researcher Chris Harmon was a judge at the California State Science Fair on the campus of the University of Southern California.
AirUCI graduate researchers Chris Harmon and Adam Bateman gave classroom presentations on Chemistry in the Atmosphere on February 25, 2008 at Dana Hills High School in Dana Point, CA.
On May 25, 2006, AirUCI researchers Huda Shaka and Jennie Thomas presented a talk entitled Chemistry in the Atmosphere to the AP Chemistry class at Northwood High school in Irvine.
Professor Barbara Finlayson-Pitts, director of AirUCI, spoke at the ACS Orange County Section dinner and High School Awards banquet on Thursday, May 11, 2006 at Concordia University in Irvine. Her talk, entitled Chemistry, Careers, and Climate Change, was directed to the students in attendance and touched on areas of AirUCI's research while discussing career opportunities in the field of atmospheric chemistry.
AirUCI hosted a visit from representatives of the National Academy of Engineering and the California Air Resources Board on April 5, 2006. They brought with them several researchers from China, and the entire group toured our labs and heard an overview of our research and our institute. Details
On April 5, 2006, AirUCI hosted students from Dana Hills High School in Dana Point. The students spent more than two hours touring our labs and viewing research project demonstrations presented by the AirUCI team. They also met in our conference room to hear Dr. Barbara Finlayson-Pitts and Dr. Sergey Nizkorodov present an overview of our research and our institute. This event was organized by Dr. Lisa Wingen.
AirUCI researchers Jennie Thomas, Huda Shaka, and Chris Harmon visited Dana Hills High School in Dana Point on March 29, 2006 and gave a 90-minute presentation to 70 students about atmospheric chemistry. They gave demonstrations of aerosol formation in the atmosphere and a PowerPoint presentation, and they also provided good insight into what it's like to work at the EPA and potential career paths for chemists.
In March, 2006, AirUCI researcher Huda Shaka judged two local science fairs. On March 1st she was at the School Science Fair at New Horizon Elementary School in Irvine. On March 2nd she judged the Irvine Unified School District Science Fair at University High School, Irvine. Huda was acting as a representative of AirUCI and the Outreach committee of the Iota Sigma Pi chapter at UCI (Women in Chemistry Sorority).
On November 19, 2005, Professor Sergey Nizkorodov offered a workshop entitled “Educating High School Students about Energy Use, Air Pollution, and Climate Problems” at the Orange County Science Education Association (OCSEA) Fall conference. The workshop was aimed at high school science teachers, and several grade 9-12 California curriculum content standards in Earth Sciences were addressed.
Dr. Lisa Wingen, AirUCI Project Scientist, gave a presentation on August 10, 2005 to a group of teachers from the Summer Science Institute. The teachers reviewed 8th grade California standards in physical sciences. After her presentation, Dr. Wingen led a tour of our labs that included demonstrations of our various research apparatus and brief descriptions of our research.
On August 5, 2005, AirUCI researcher Huda Shaka addressed a workshop organized by Dr. George Miller of UCI through the UCI Center for Science in the Public Interest program. The title of her presentation was "Acids and Bases in the Atmosphere" and the audience was made up of high school Chemistry teachers.
AirUCI researchers Jennie Thomas and Huda Shaka were judges at the California State Science Fair, held on May 24, 2005 at the California Science Center in Exposition Park, Los Angeles. Huda judged the Environmental Sciences division and Jennie judged the Chemistry division. On May 25 and May 31, Huda and Jennie also visited the AP chemistry classes at Northwood High School in Irvine, CA and gave presentations on atmospheric chemistry.