Diversity & Community Outreach Programs (2015)

Cornell BMES Holds Girl Scout Engineering Day

Last February, Cornell’s BMES chapter held its third annual Girl Scout Engineering Day to inspire young women to pursue careers and study in STEM disciplines. Over 100 Girl Scouts from grades 2-10 traveled to the Cornell campus from all over New York and Pennsylvania to participate in the program. Participants learned about different types of engineering through hands-on activities. The girls worked in teams to design and create devices such as marble roller coasters, circuits made from Play-Doh® and gumdrop towers. Registration was maxed out for the event, demonstrating the reputation that this event has made over the past three years. This annual event is a highlight for the BME department outreach committee, and will continue to run and motivate more young women each year.

Nishimura Lab Hosts High School Students

The Nishimura Lab hosted nearly fifty high school students this summer as part of Cornell Engineering’s CATALYST Academy. The CATALYST Academy is a selective one-week summer residential program that enables high school students from all over the country to gain valuable insight into engineering research.  The program aims to promote interest within the engineering field by exposing high school students to classes, lab sessions, and research at Cornell University. This year, the Nishimura lab with students in the Schaffer lab and visiting veterinary students in the Leadership Program for Veterinary Scholars, came up with the program theme: “Beyond the Image.” 
Throughout the week, the students rotated through modules planned by members of the Schaffer-Nishimura labs, all of which investigated the idea of an image as a powerful tool for scientists and engineers. Students learned about many aspects of imaging from neuroscience, to optics, to image analysis and cutting-edge research. Academy participants experimented with using images as data to better understand the world around them. They combined multiple fields of study—biology, physics, engineering, and math—into activities among which included modeling an eye, performing histology, imaging in vivo in mice, building a microscope, as well as exploring Beer’s Law. During each module, students were aided by undergraduate researchers in the lab who encouraged and inspired scientific exploration and discovery.
—Heley Ong and Karen Lin