Biology gets sassy

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COLUMBIA — A professor at Stephens College and the Tri Beta Biological Honors Society are hosting a series of events at Stephens within the next couple of months. 

As part of a Missouri Compact Campus Grant, Stephens College is inviting area sixth through eighth grade girls onto the campus for co-curricular activities that will enhance and augment science programs at local middle schools. 

The Missouri Compact Campus Grants are interested in fostering a closer relationship between area college and the communities that they serve. 

"We will help them to broaden their vision and broaden their thought process as to what they're really watching happening in front of their eyes," Associate Professor Erin Sellner said. 

Sellner was given the grant in June of 2016. After receiving that grant, she ran a single molecular genetic event, as a pilot study, to gauge interest and feasibility of the events in January before beginning this Saturday program. 

"We're calling this series 'Saturday Afternoon Science at Stephens' or 'Biology Gets Sassy'," Sellner said. "This is our first event, and we will be holding one every month so February, March, April, May."

In addition to Sellner leading the event, six Stephens undergraduate students, who are members of Tri Beta, will act as a mentor at the lab bend helping participants to conduct the laboratory and help them understand visually, what they are learning. 

"It allows girls who are interested in science to come to a working collegiate lab," Sellner said. "It also allows our undergraduate population to really boost their confidence and their own scientific knowledge by spreading that to other people with an interest in science."

Saturday's event focuses on population genetics activities. Students will be able to watch how a population, how the traits, and how the frequency of those traits change overtime to help the population better adapt to their environment. 

Other dates and topics are: 

March 18 - Cell biology

April 15 - Nutrition

May 13 - Ecology

In order to sign up for these events, email Professor Sellner at esellner@stephens.edu

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