Science Fair Winners Disappointed By Lack Of Volcano Research Projects

volcanBerkeley, CA – Three hundred junior high and high school science fair winners visited the University this week to learn about career opportunities in science. The students represented a broad cross section of schools from across the country and included mostly 8th-10th graders.

The head of the University’s STEM outreach and education effort, Dr. Barb Dwyer, hoped that exposing students to a top tier research institution would encourage them to explore diverse science disciplines in the future. “It is important to engage young students now to foster an appreciation for the broad range of math and science careers open to them,” said Dr. Dwyer, “unfortunately that didn’t really work out too well”. “All they really wanted to know about was volcanoes,” remarked a disappointed Dr. Dwyer.

The students were hosted by a number of top scientists in Entomology, Mycology, Forestry, Agronomy, and Pedology who gave short demonstrations of the work they do in their respective fields and answered questions from the group. “The students continuously interrupted the presentations to ask questions about volcanoes that our experts naturally had no idea about,” she said adding, “I don’t think they asked one single question in three hours that wasn’t volcano related.”

“Apparently, left to their own devices, the only thing they learn about is volcanoes,” said one of the participating scientists who preferred to remain anonymous adding, “If I have to listen to one more 15 year old harangue me with a list of random facts about volcanoes I’m going to lose it.”

Dr. Dwyer was more sanguine about the future of educational outreach saying, “Maybe we just need to throw in the multi-discipline towel and embrace the hot lava.”





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